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Captain Ballack yearns for swan song

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Photo: DPA
08:13 CEST+02:00
Retired ex-Germany captain Michael Ballack has said he is hoping to have a farewell game organised for him and has revealed he plans to get his coaching licence.

The former Chelsea star, who turned 36 in September, retired from professional football at the start of the month after his two-year contract at Bayer Leverkusen expired having made 98 appearances for Germany.

Ballack turned down a offer by the German Football Federation (DFB) to make his final appearance in the friendly victory over Brazil in August 2011, but the midfielder says he still wants a farewell match.

"I would hope so. Of course, I would like to say goodbye to the fans," Ballack, who spent four years with Chelsea, told Cologne newspaper Express when asked if he wanted a farewell match.

"I will at some point in the foreseeable future get my coaching license, bBut whether or not I will be a trainer, I can't say yet."

Bayer Leverkusen's director of sport Rudi Völler says he wants to see a special game organised for Ballack.

"Everyone had assumed Michael would continue to play," Völler told Bild on Sunday, having also advised Ballack to get his coaching license.

"Now we have to see whether we can organise a farewell match, it should be put together by the DFB, Ballack and Bayer."

But it looks unlikely the DFB will be involved in any plans after Ballack turned down their initial offer.

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"I personally think the time for a farewell match is gone," Bierhoff told German television before pointing out neither former stars Jürgen Klinsmann nor Jürgen Kohler had farewell matches.

"Firstly, we have only a few dates available, so I see no chance anymore."

AFP/bk

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