Bad news for the Germany’s national soccer team, as their captain Michael Ballack is not going to be able of playing the cup due to a very recent ankle injury that he suffered in the FA Cup Final, which his team, the Chelsea, won to the Portsmouth back on Saturday. His ankle is currently covered with a cast, and the German federation has said that it would be impossible for him to play in a lapse of approximately 8 weeks, just after the end of the World Cup tournament.
The 33 year old midfielder said in a televised interview that he feels quite disappointed for not having the choice of helping his national team in the most important soccer event in the world. His absence is leaving this young squad without his most experienced man, and it would prevent Ballack from opting for the world cup title after reaching the finals in 2002 and the semis in 2006.
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Joachim Loew, Germany’s coach, said that they will certainly miss his absence as he has always played a key role in the team in terms of helping in decisive moments, but he also feels that his team is quite solid and can still provide an outstanding performance at the cup.
Now Loew’s task will be to find the right replacement for team capitation, and will also have to find someone that can replace Ballack (a 3-time player of the year for Germany) as a proficient defensive midfielder.
Ballack’s first appearance at a major international tournament with Germany was back in 2000 when he played for the European championship, then 2 years later at the world cup that was played simultaneously at Japan and South Korea, he scored important goals that allowed his national team to make it to that tourney’s finals, but he did not played against Brazil as he received a yellow card at the semis.
The 2004 championship for the European cup also proved to be a disappointment for him, as Germany was eliminated early in the tournament. Former soccer superstar Juergen Klinsmann took over the national squad at this period, and selected Michael Ballack as the full time captain. He missed the opening at the 06’ World Cup against Costa Rica due to a calf injury and also failed to score in the whole tournament.
It seems like Michael Ballack has done way better playing with clubs than for his national team, and this time is not the exception.
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