Michael Ballack to get official farewell
Former Germany captain Michael Ballack will receive an official farewell from the German Football Association (DFB) ahead of World Cup qualifier against Austria in Munich.
“That’s a nice occasion to get a round of applause in his home stadium,” Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff told a press conference. During his four years at Bayern, Ballack had featured in 107 Bundesliga games and won three league championships and the DFB-Pokal as many times.
Ballack won 98 caps for the Germany time from 1999 to 2010, when a Kevin-Prince Boateng foul ended his final World Cup campaign and, ultimately, his international career.
After the 2006 World Cup -- when Germany reached the semi-finals on home soil -- Ballack moved on to Chelsea, where he won one Premier League title and the FA Cup three times.
The DFB had offered Ballack the chance to win his final cap in a friendly against Brazil in the summer of 2011, but he rejected it. Ever since then, the relationship between the DFB and their former captain had not been perfect.
In June 2013, Ballack organised his own testimonial match in Leipzig. In front of 45,000 fans he said goodbye to football in a match between a 'World XI', coached by his former Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho, and a 'Ballack XI'. The match was attended by Germany coach Joachim Low, who had just returned from Germany’s summer tour of the US.