At the age of thirty-four his international career has come to an end. We all saw at the World Cup that Germany have some exceptional young talent and it is clearly time to say thank you and goodbye to Ballack. He has been a great servant, but now it is time to move on.
Germany manager Joachim Low has made public the fact that he will not be playing Ballack and has suggested that August’s friendly against Brazil be used as something of a tribute game. Low said that he would play Ballack in that game and make him captain. That seemed like a sensible and appropriate tribute to a man who has served his country well.
Everybody thought this was a great idea apart from just one man. Unfortunately that man was Ballack himself. He sees things very differently.
“To call a friendly match that was arranged long ago a farewell match is a farce. I know I owe my fans this match but I cannot accept the offer. I found out on Thursday, while on holiday, through an announcement that the national coach does not plan with me in the squad any more. The style and content of the statement by Low are unfortunately exactly like the way he treated me since my serious injury last summer. The style and content of this piece of news surprised and disappointed me because it does not in any way reflect what the coach told me. If now they say that I and my role were treated openly and with honesty then that is hypocritical.”
Unsurprisingly, the manager sees things somewhat differently to his former captain.
“I have discussed things openly with Michael Ballack, most recently in our meeting in March 2011 and in numerous phone calls.”
Clearly the two men are not going to agree about this. Ballack has always had a high opinion of himself and in a majority of cases, when it comes to the actual football, he has been absolutely right to do so. He was an exceptional player but all good things come to an end and he really should recognise that in terms of international football that time is now. He obviously feels that one of the following two things should happen;
1. He continues to play for the national team
2. An extra tribute game is arranged just for him
It may be that Low has not dealt well with this situation, I have no idea. None of us can actually know what has been said in private chats between the two men. However, I don’t think Ballack is doing himself any favours at the moment. Being given a final game as captain, against Brazil, is a great honour and appropriate recognition for the service he has given his national team. He should be grateful and honoured.
Unfortunately he is in danger of making himself look like a man with a big ego who is frankly a little bit spoilt.
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haha…Michael “Bring It” Ballack…
Always ready for a fight, even when nobody wants to…He’d be a good partner for Joey B over at Newcastle…
Thank you for the Chelsea years Ballack… they were superb!