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Ballack left waiting for place against former team Chelsea

Bayer Leverkusen's Michael Ballack must wait to find out if he will face his former club Chelsea on Tuesday in the Champions League despite a commanding performance in the German league.

Ballack left waiting for place against former team Chelsea
Image source: DPA

Having left Stamford Bridge last year, the former Germany captain, who turns 35 at the end of the month, was impressive in Friday night’s 4-1 Bundesliga win at Augsburg for Leverkusen which put his team top of the league before Saturday’s games.

Leverkusen have a strong midfield and coach Robin Dutt has been operating a rotational system.

The Premier League side host last season’s German runners-up at Stamford Bridge, but Ballack must wait to find out if he will start against his old club having spent four seasons in London.

“I was very happy with Michael Ballack, he was particularly strong going forwards,” said Dutt.

“Whether he plays on Tuesday against Chelsea, I do not know yet. There are many players fit for Tuesday, we are going to reveal who will play, but not yet,” Dutt said.

“The match at Chelsea will be very different. Augsburg kept us busy tonight and it is important that we regenerate quickly.”

Leverkusen and Chelsea are in Champions League Group E along with Valencia

and Belgian champions Genk.

AFP/smd

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UKRAINE

German football club ends partnership with Russia’s Gazprom

German football club Schalke 04 announced Monday it had prematurely ended its partnership with Russian gas giant Gazprom following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

German football club ends partnership with Russia's Gazprom

The deal between the second-tier German club and Gazprom had been due to run until 2025 with Schalke receiving around €9 million ($10 million) per year in sponsorship.

Had the Gelsenkirchen-based club won promotion back to the Bundesliga at the end of this season, the sponsorship figure would have risen to €15 million annually.

Schalke had already removed the Gazprom logo from their shirts for Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Karlsruhe.

In a statement, Schalke said their finances were “unaffected by this decision”.

“The club’s management is confident that it will be able to present a new partner in the near future.”

READ ALSO: OPINION: Germany has scuppered Nord Stream 2 but there are questions left to answer

Gazprom representative Matthias Warnig resigned from the club’s supervisory board last Thursday.

Hans-Joachim Watzke, interim president of the German Football Association (DFB), had already hinted there could be financial aid for Schalke if they split from Gazprom.

“If this requires the solidarity of other clubs in Germany to get them out of this situation, then we have to discuss how we can manage that,” Watzke told ZDF.

READ ALSO: Germany set to shut airspace to Russian planes on Sunday

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