Ballack flew in from London for a whirlwind meeting with Löw on Thursday evening in Frankfurt. The face-to-face chat became necessary after Ballack was forced to apologize for undermining his coach’s authority in recent weeks.
The Cheslea midfielder caused a stink after telling the media that Löw needed to show more respect to senior national team players such as Torsten Frings, who has been sidelined in the squad.
“I’ve realized it wasn’t right to go public and I regret that the impression was created that I wanted to criticize Joachim Löw in his capacity as national coach,” Ballack said in a statement released by the German Football Association (DFB).
Despite his public apology last weekend, there was widespread speculation in the German press that Ballack would at the very least be forced to step down as team captain. But Löw on Friday that all was forgiven – if not forgotten.
“Michael Ballack will remain my captain. But the captain has stick to the rules too,” Löw said. “All sporting and personel decisions will be made by the coaching staff – I’ve made this unequivocally clear to Michael.”