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Calf strain leaves Germany´s Ballack doubtful for final

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 28 Jun 2008

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Germany captain Michael Ballack has been rated as doubtful on the eve of Sunday’s Euro 2008 final against Spain after straining his right calf in training.

The 31-year-old Chelsea midfielder damaged his calf in Germany’s final training session on Friday at their Euro 2008 base in Tenero, Switzerland, and has been receiving treatment for the injury.

Although the team flew to Vienna on Saturday afternoon for Sunday’s final at the Ernst Happel Stadium, Ballack stayed behind at the team hotel for treatment and a decision on whether he plays will be taken in the count-down to kick-off.

Team manager Oliver Bierhoff told reporters that “we’ll do all we can to ensure Ballack can play.”

Ballack missed the World Cup final loss to Brazil in 2002 through suspension.

He is doubly keen to make Sunday’s trophy match after a series of near misses, not least this season with the Champions League final loss to Manchester United, who also beat Chelsea to the Premiership title.

Six years ago he was in the Bayer Leverkusen side which finished runners-up in the German league, the Champions League and the German Cup.

The German media suggested that the German challenge would be hit hard were he to have to sit out Sunday’s action.

“Germany is trembling. Michael Ballack has a calf injury and his participation in the Euro final against Spain is under threat,” reported Bild daily’s internet edition, adding Ballack had been complaining of pain since early Friday.

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