The former Chelsea and Germany midfielder says farewell to football in Leipzig on Wednesday – but what will his legacy be?
On Wednesday night, in Leipzig, a former international will say goodbye to football. He won four Bundesliga titles and three German Cups. He won the Premier League title with Chelsea and three FA Cups. He represented Germany 98 times and was their captain for several years. Yet, somehow,Michael Ballack will perhaps always be seen as a loser.
There was an arrogance about Ballack that – as he missed out on one major title after another – led to a lack of sympathy. The 2002 Champions League final, with Bayer Leverkusen, was lost to Real Madrid. A month later, Ballack almost singlehandedly took Germany to the World Cup final but, suspended, had to watch from the stands as Brazil won 2-0. Four years later, Germany lost to Italy after extra-time in the World Cup semi-final…
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