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Chelsea want Ballack to miss England friendly

SoccerNews in Bundesliga, English Premier League 12 Nov 2008

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Chelsea have signalled that they are opposed to Germany captain Michael Ballack playing for his country in next week's friendly against England in Berlin.

The midfielder has just returned to training after a month out following foot surgery and the London club feel that the international fixture has come around too soon.

“It is an issue, but I'd like to think their coach will use his common sense,” said Chelsea assistant coach Ray Wilkins.

Ballack was expected to sit out Chelsea's League Cup clash against Burnley on Wednesday evening but will almost certainly be involved in the Premier League match at West Brom on Saturday.

That means Germany coach Joachim Loew will be able to insist on Ballack joining up with the national squad.

The friendly will be Germany's first match since a public spat between the player and Loew over Ballack's criticism of the coach's decision to drop fellow veteran Torsten Frings.

The row was resolved when Ballack apologised and Loew subsequently announced that Ballack would continue as captain.

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