Löw tips Ballack comeback after boring draw with Sweden

Germany coach Joachim Löw has backed midfielder Michael Ballack to return to form and regain the captaincy of the national side after the Germans were held to a goalless draw by Sweden.

Löw tips Ballack comeback after boring draw with Sweden
Photo: DPA

In their final game of 2010, Bayern Munich’s Bastian Schweinsteiger led an inexperienced Germany to a dull draw in Gothenburg on Wednesday with four players making their debut.

Having missed the World Cup with an ankle injury, Ballack, 34, fractured his leg just below the knee on only his third game back for Leverkusen in the Bundesliga this season and will not play again until 2011.

In his absence, Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira has filled Ballack’s position in the heart of Germany’s midfield and after the side finished third at the World Cup in South Africa, Ballack will have to fight to win his place back.

But with 42 goals for Germany and with 98 caps behind him, Löw is backing his former captain to return with the Germans set to host Italy in Dortmund in February 2011 in their next friendly.

“It always happens that when a player gets injured, others come through and start playing and that is what we have seen with Sami Khedira and (Bayern Munich’s) Toni Kroos,” said Löw.

“We haven’t written off Michael and I am convinced he will make it back it into the team.”

Germany are top of their Euro 2012 qualifying group and are undefeated after four matches with a five-point lead over their rivals.


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British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.