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Injured Ballack ruled out of World Cup

AFP/DPA/The Local · 17 May 2010, 14:21

Published: 17 May 2010 12:03 GMT+02:00
Updated: 17 May 2010 14:21 GMT+02:00

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The 33-year-old Chelsea midfielder limped out of Saturday's FA Cup final win over Portsmouth after an unnecessarily heavy tackle from Kevin-Prince Boateng.

An examination in Munich discovered Ballack had torn his ligaments in his ankle. The German national team doctor said he will likely recover and be able to play football again, but not in time for the World Cup.

The DFB said in a statement that Ballack's right ankle will have to be immobilised and put in a plaster cast. He will then have to wear a special shoe for a further two weeks.

With 98 caps and 42 goals to his name, Ballack was a crucial part of Germany's bid to win the tournament for a fourth time.

"I'm angry, of course. The disappointment is naturally huge," Ballack said. "To get such a diagnosis two or three weeks before the World Cup is bitter. But that's football, things have to continue on."

The injury means Germany will face Australia in their opening World Cup game on June 13 without their most important player.

"We were shocked, no question," said German national team coach Joachim Löw. "We now have to marshal our strength. There can be no talk of resignation. We are convinced we can have a good World Cup."

Ballack's departure from the side is another setback for Löw after goalkeeper Rene Adler was also ruled out last month due to injury.

To replace Ballack in the midfield, Löw could turn to Bastian Schweinsteiger, who has had a very good season with Bayern Munich. He could act as playmaker beside Bremen's Mesut Özil.

Story continues below…

Löw could also recall Thomas Hitzlsperger (Lazio), or even Torsten Frings (Werder Bremen), two veterans who had fallen out of favour.

The injury is a bitter blow for Ballack who is still looking for a first international success at his final World Cup after 2002 (2nd) and 2006 (3rd). He started his career at Chemnitz before moving to Kaiserslautern (1997-99), Bayer Leverkusen (1999-2002), Bayern Munich (2002-06) and Chelsea.

Making things even harder on German football fans, Boateng will likely take to the pitch with Ghana against Germany on June 23 in the first round of the World Cup.

Though Berlin-born Boateng opted to play for the African homeland of his father, his half-brother Jerome is a German national player. Boateng is also related on his mother's side to the legendary German player Helmut Rahn, who helped Germany win the World Cup in 1954.

AFP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:21 May 17, 2010 by oilylamp
Very distressing news for Michael and for the German nation. Chelsea supporters in London will wish Michael a speedy and complete recovery and wish Germany every success and good luck in South Africe and hope that this setback does not harm their chances of success
12:31 May 17, 2010 by Johnne
Boateng! Boateng!! Boateng!!! he should watch out for his own legs o! because Dennis Aogo or even your brother Jerome Boateng will definitely kick his legs & injure him in the match against his country (Ghana) I´m very angry with this Kevin-Prince Boateng guy! ahah!! what´s his problem??? see what he has caused now with his aggression? to the most important player in our squad!! I believe it was a delibrate action from this guy!! Oh God! what a big blow on our team!!!
12:58 May 17, 2010 by steve_glienicke
i watched this on german TV on the weekend, i clearly saw ballack raise his hand and slap boateng around the face, had the ref seen it he would not have been on the pitch for what followed, but after the slap they squared up to eachother and if you understand german you could clearly see boateng tell him im coming after you! so yes bad luck for germany and the world cup, but the saying goes "payback is a bitch" if he was not aggresive in the first place, boateng would not have been after him!
14:02 May 17, 2010 by baldilox
Yes, I saw the slap on English TV, and was amazed that nothing was said about it at all by the commentators. How the ref missed it is bewildering. You just knew it wasn't going to go without "punishment". I knew the second Ballack went down what that was all about. I don't condone what Boateng did to Ballack. But, you don't slap another man on the face and expect things to end there. Especially not in a testosterone filled environment like a pro football match.
16:18 May 17, 2010 by bearded1
Hey Ho

So Germany must show at last they dont need a player like BOLLOCK what a diver

if you cant stand the heat get out of the kitchen.

They also should have nominated KURANYI AND NOT PODOLSKI

but anyway LíW deserves all he gets....
16:55 May 17, 2010 by cocovelvet
.... slapping someone, whether on the pitch or anywhere else, is an insult and disrespect on the part of the other person. Aggression on the pitch alone is unacceptable........ why was that slapping incident never mentioned anyway ??!!
17:16 May 17, 2010 by froogler#1
Ballack himself is a thug on the pitch. In that game he was supposed to have been sent off way earlier, but seems like life is a bitch. Let him get what he deserves. I don;t think this will affect Germany's chances though. They are in a group with whack teams anyway.
17:24 May 17, 2010 by cocovelvet
@ Froogler

LOL ..... whack teams is the best.
17:59 May 17, 2010 by pmach
Bastian Schweinsteiger, would be a good replacement as noted especially with his striking ability even from a distance. I think he is ready to replace Ballack anyway and would bring a strong dynamic to the forward attack.

He is maturing nicely a s a player in the 2009-2010 season he has made the big leap from a funky young man … to a very responsible player who works strategically with the team.

Schweini is such a capable dribbler and passer of the ball that his coaches for club and country are continuously changing his role from defender to attacker and back again. Even so, the German international adapts well - he is too important and too talented to be forgotten and perhaps best suited to Ballacks position. Time will tell.
18:21 May 17, 2010 by duckys
I think he deserves what he gets... If you can dish it... than you better take it... Maybe this is a good wake up call for Germany, as I find the team too argonaut and the trainer is clueless...
18:55 May 17, 2010 by moorekwesi
Poor refereeing caused this incident.Referee should have punished Ballack for slapping KPB.The referee's silence was what caused Ballack's injury.
19:11 May 17, 2010 by chinablue1104
If Ballack slapped the other player he should have seen red. No question about it..and as that didnt happen..I am afraid he had it coming.Shame for the national team but karma is a bitch
21:35 May 17, 2010 by Gamal
Italy had a bigger problem than this in WM 2006, but they could win the title. Now it's time for Germany to grab the title with or without Ballack. Since when Germany has to stick to only one player?
23:26 May 17, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, with a crisis comes opportunities. I personally believe that change will actually make the team better.
21:46 May 19, 2010 by cannychanta
Germany reached the semis of Euro 2008 curtesy of a cheated Ballack goal. I remember him in the 2002 World Cup whn a Camaroon player gently pushed him on the chest and he fell to the ground clutching his head in an attempt to get the African sent off. He´s a cheat and the World Cup will be better without him.
17:32 May 28, 2010 by bearded1
No one Does it Better GOOD Hes gone it will be better for the world cup without a person of his (TALENT) LOL.

Diving like he does he should enter the olympics diving competition.
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