• Germany's news in English
 

Ballack's national team career finished

Published: 16 Jun 2011 13:13 GMT+02:00

“Michael Ballack will no longer be a part of the German national squad," the DFB said in a statement.

"I have discussed things openly with Michael Ballack, most recently in our meeting in March 2011 and in numerous phone calls," coach Joachim Löw said.

"With the Euro 2012 season about to start,” Löw added, “the time has come for me to make a clear statement."

The former Chelsea and Bayern Munich midfielder, 34, has not played for Germany since March 2010, and in terms of performance at least, his absence has not been felt.

Injured in a brutal tackle by Portsmouth's Kevin-Prince Boateng in the English Premier League’s FA Cup final, Ballack played no part in the World Cup last year, when Germany played some of the best football of the tournament to finish third.

And in the qualifying campaign for Euro 2012 hosted by Poland and Ukraine, Germany are sitting pretty at the top of their qualifying group with a 10-point lead, virtually assuring a berth in the European championships.

In his place, Bayern Munich defender Philipp Lahm has captained the German side.

"Recent months have shown that lots of young players with promising futures have appeared on the scene," Löw said. “Since the 2010 World Cup in South Africa the development of the national team has been absolutely positive.”

"Michael Ballack was for a decade a very important leading player in the national side and contributed enormously to the great successes of the team after the 2002 World Cup," added Löw, coach since 2006.

"He shaped an era and as captain always put himself at the service of the team, as I was able to witness at close quarters at the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008."

German media reports had hinted Ballack would play his 99th – and final game – for Germany against Brazil in a friendly in Stuttgart in August.

But Löw's latest comments suggest Ballack's career will finish with 98 caps and 42 goals for his country, having made his debut in 1999.

Ballack played for Bayern Munich from 2002 and 2006 before moving to Chelsea for a four-year stint at Stamford Bridge. Last season he returned to Germany to play for Bayer Leverkusen, but fractured his leg in only his third game back.

AFP/adn

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

02:14 June 17, 2011 by Bongartz
What a shameful decision :@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

P.S. NO BALLACK = NO CAPTAIN
21:34 June 18, 2011 by deep_schismic
I think it was more than obvious what was going to happen. Still a farewell match with the team is something Ballack deserves I think, and a match against Brazil would be the go...
07:49 June 21, 2011 by Eric Mudasi
Years ago the Spanish Soccer Federation focussed its attention on their Spanish Project Teams nurturing the young stars of Barcelona, Real Madrid and the other La Liga teams at the Olympics, Junior European Cup & Junior World Cup. These group of players went on to win the senior European Cup & World Cup and are now ranked FIFA's Number 1. The Bravest, Boldest & turns out the BEST thing they did was DROP Raúl González, the MOST AWESOME player & Spanish ICON, a GALACTICO or literally a "SPANISH GOD"

Compared to RAUL, Michael Ballack & David Beckham DO NOT hold a candle to him & are among the BIGGEST JOKEs in WORLD SOCCER. They should have been put out to pasture ages ago.

SERIOUSLY say your GOODBYES & DEAL WITH IT !!! The WORLD is sick of overpaid & pampered, sulking has beens. Get a Life!
09:10 June 21, 2011 by aruntutu
@Eric Mudasi : Although the comments come out a little strong, I think its completely justified. Its high time the world just gets over such over-rated players of the past. :)
21:03 June 21, 2011 by lordkorner
To call Beckham and Ballack a joke is to show the height of ignorance .
Today's headlines
Belgium, Netherlands probe BND spy claims
Photo: DPA

Belgium, Netherlands probe BND spy claims

Belgium and the Netherlands have launched probes into claims of widespread espionage by Germany, which is accused of helping the US spy on Berlin's closest allies in Europe, officials said Friday. READ  

German women have World Cup in their sights
Germany are among the favourites. Photo: DPA archive

German women have World Cup in their sights

After getting their hands on the world cup in 2003 and 2007, the German women’s national team are trying to make it three out of the last four this summer in Canada. READ  

Munich headteacher: 'Atheists are stupid'
"I don't need to justify it because it's in the Bible". Photo: DPA

Munich headteacher: 'Atheists are stupid'

A head teacher at a state school in Munich is attempting to introduce a strict Christian regime by hanging crosses in the classroom and holding daily prayers. He's within the law, but parents and pupils are beginning to resist. READ  

Baby ducks shut down Autobahn traffic
Stock image of baby ducks running. Photo: DPA.

Baby ducks shut down Autobahn traffic

Police officers and a fire fighter crane were called in to rescue five orphaned baby ducks on Friday, stopping autobahn traffic briefly to escort them to safety. READ  

Taliban release German hostage in Afghanistan
The region of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan. Photo: DPA

Taliban release German hostage in Afghanistan

An employee of the German International Development Agency (GIZ) has been released from captivity in northern Afghanistan after being taken prisoner by the Taliban six weeks ago. READ  

Cameron and Merkel sing from same hymn sheet
Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Cameron arrive at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Cameron and Merkel sing from same hymn sheet

Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron presented a newly united front at a Berlin press conference on Friday, after their first meeting where the UK premier set out his demands for reform of the European Union. READ  

German industry: Brexit would be ‘disastrous’
Photo: DPA

German industry: Brexit would be ‘disastrous’

The German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) have told the BBC that if the UK were to leave the EU it would be disastrous for both countries. READ  

At last, Germany has a new Top Model
Vanessa is over the moon. Photo:DPA

At last, Germany has a new Top Model

Everyone can breath easily again. Despite a delay of two weeks due to a bomb threat, Heidi Klum has finally been able to choose Germany’s next top model - a 19-year-old from her own home town. READ  

Steinmeier: corruption poisons football
Steinmeier had harsh words for FIFA. Photo:DPA

Steinmeier: corruption poisons football

Foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Thursday that if world football can't clear up "poisonous" corruption, state bodies need to step in, amid a graft scandal engulfing governing body FIFA. READ  

Greece eclipses G7 meeting in Dresden
G7 finance ministers in Dresden. Photo: DPA

Greece eclipses G7 meeting in Dresden

Debt-wracked Greece's battle to hammer out a deal with its creditors dominated a meeting of finance ministers from the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations in Dresden on Thursday, with officials insisting much work still lay ahead. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Fassbinder's blaze of glory
Rhineland
Defusing Cologne's giant WW2 bomb
Travel
1,000 years of Leipzig
National
Cops have nothing to go on after ministry toilet theft
Sport
The hidden history of FC Bayern Munich
Technology
In future, we may all be scraping drones off windshields
National
The 65-year-old who gave birth to quadruplets
Travel
Why the train strike is bad for passengers and workers
National
Meet Germany's Eurovision hope
Business & Money
Is 2015 a new moment for jobsharing?
Features
How the LGBT rights movement was born in Germany
National
Why you don't make bomb jokes at the airport
National
Why Germany needs a little less tipple
National
Who Germans and Americans trust... and don't
Politics
What the UK election means for Germany
National
Why Germany is great for mums
Features
The Germans with GI dads
Five ways Germany falls short on gay rights
Travel
Giant tortoise found riding Munich rail
National
FCK CPS? A-OK with court
Politics
Opinion: Brexit's dangers for Germany
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
National
Minister shows off top Denglisch
National
Germany's 'other genocide' in Africa
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,699
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd