Frings takes Ballack's side in tiff with Löw

AFP - [email protected] • 23 Oct, 2008 Updated Thu 23 Oct 2008 15:00 CEST
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Germany midfielder Torsten Frings on Thursday backed die Mannschaft captain Michael Ballack in his war of words with coach Joachim Löw and has again criticized the national team’s trainer.

“It is Ballack’s right as captain to express himself freely, he only wants the best for the team,” Frings, who was dropped by Löw for the World Cup qualifier wins over Russia and Wales, told German television channel Premiere. “One should think sometimes about the reasons why experienced players get so excited. It wasn’t right that I didn’t play (against Russia and Wales) and Michael recognized that too, he said. “If anyone is going to say something, then it has to be the captain.”

Werder Bremen’s Frings - a member of the German side that reached the 2002 World Cup final, the 2006 World Cup semi-finals - though he was suspended for that match - and the Euro 2008 final - has said he is untroubled about the consequences of his own criticism of Löw.

“How can Löw react? I have already been dropped, what is the worst that can happen?” he told Premiere.

Löw said on Wednesday he will demand that Ballack attend a meeting in Germany for an explanation of his comments made to newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) on Tuesday criticizing Löw for showing senior players a lack of respect.

In the interview, Chelsea star Ballack slammed Löw for dropping Frings for the matches with Wales and Russia earlier this month. In the aftermath of the matches, Frings dropped hints of retirement and also said he expected to be shown more loyalty from Löw.

At 31, Frings justified his comments to Premiere by saying he has always had to fight his corner throughout his career in which he has won 78 caps. “I have been a professional for 11 years and everything I have achieved was never just given to me,” he said. “I always stood up for myself in arguments.”

With regards to his previous hints at retirement, Frings said it is something he is mulling over.

“It is not like I think about it day and night,” he said. “I will talk to other people and see whether they can give me a different perspective on it.”



AFP 2008/10/23 15:00

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