Michael Ballack Retires From International Football




Michael Ballack - Germany

Michael Ballack – Germany

Germany’s former captain, the man with the jersey number 13, Michael Ballack has decided to retire from international football after having a discussion with manager Joachim Low. Ballack, who is now 34, has been a key figure in the German squad since the turn of the millennium, has decided to hang his boots to make way for the younger players.

“The past months have shown that many young players are brought into focus and have good prospects. With them developing the national team since the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the run [has been] completely positive,” Low said, adding that, “In our conversations, I had the impression that Michael definitely understands our vision. Therefore in everyone’s interest [there] is now an honest and clear decision attached,” he continued.

The number 13 is considered to be unlucky, and Ballack, who wore the jersey that others shun, has indeed been quite unlucky in his career. After inspiring his team in the 2002 World Cup, he missed the final due to suspension. He had to be content with a 3rd place finish in the 2006 World Cup. He ended up with two Champions League runner up medals (once with Leverkusen and with Chelsea), and also at the Euro Championship in ‘08.

But the same can’t be said about domestic football, where Ballack has racked up an impressive number of trophies. In an illustrious career at the club level, Ballack represented major clubs like Bayer Leverkusen, and then moved on to local rival Bayern Munich. He tested new waters by joining Chelsea in the EPL and after four somewhat successful years, moved back to Leverkusen.

Not only was he a good playmaker, but he also managed to find the net quite regularly and also at times when they were needed. Though he was accused of “choking” in important matches, he has good record big matches.

It is not only ironic, but also iconic that Ballack, who has now represented his country 98 times, will bid farewell in a friendly against Brazil in August, thus finishing his career with 99 international caps.

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