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Ballack ends a career 'beyond his dreams'

Published: 02 Oct 2012 17:04 GMT+02:00

The 36-year-old former Chelsea star has been without a team since a two-year contract with Bayer Leverkusen ended in May.

Since then he was reported to be negotiating with clubs in north America's MSL and Australia's A-League, but nothing came of the talks.

He released a statement which read, “At 36 I look back at a long and wonderful time in professional football, a time I would never have dared to dream of as a child. It was a privilege to work with first-class trainers and fantastic players. I will certainly miss playing in front of 80,000 fans, and shooting goals.

“But the last few months without active football have shown me that the time has arrived to stop. I am happy about a new chapter in my life and thank my family and all the fabulous people who have supported, challenged, accompanied and helped me. They all have a share in my success.”

He made the last of his 98 appearances for Germany when he captained the team during their friendly defeat against Argentina in March 2010. He had first played for Germany in April 1999 against Scotland.

Before that he was with the team that came second in the World Cup in 2002, second in the European Championship in 2008 and third in the World Cup in 2006.

He played for 1. FC Kaiserslautern, Bayern Munich, FC Chelsea and Bayer Leverkusen – and was on German champion teams four times, German cup winners three times and once English champions. He won the FA Cup three times with Chelsea.

DPA/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

20:45 October 2, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Only seems like yesterday he was at his peak and signing for Chelsea prior to the 2006 World Cup. Class player at his peak but time catches up with everyone eventually.
22:41 October 2, 2012 by singer786
thats very sad, Ballack best of luck for retired life.
22:53 October 2, 2012 by coffmap8
Saw so many young beauties having their picture take on the track in the bahnhof in Munchen and Nurenberg by your picture and they were so proud to have it. God bless you in retirement. You meant so much to so many Germans!
16:53 October 3, 2012 by Al uk
I used to enjoy watching him play for Chelsea (not a Chelsea fan) he was a great player but he also had a tough/nasty streak and wasn't afraid to dish the boot out (as we used to say before diving and rolling around spoilt the game)
23:01 October 3, 2012 by MaKo
Dear The Local,

North America has an MLS (Major League Soccer), not an MSL.

And Mr. Ballack, the MLS might be worth another try! I'm sure the Columbus Crew could make arrangements for another designated player!
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