Previous
Toulouse
Lens
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Werder Bremen
FC Cologne
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Aberdeen
Motherwell
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Fulham
Charlton Athletic
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Celta Vigo
Levante
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Brisbane Roar
Sydney FC
0
2
FT
Game Details
Next

50-50 Challenge: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona

El Clasico 20 hours ago
Read

Who will win El Clasico?

Poll less than a minute ago
Read

Cobos: Neymar stronger in 2014-15

Barcelona 23 hours ago
Read

Lamela wonder-goal, Kane's keeper clanger

Blog - The Toe Poke 19 hours ago
Read
Jun 6, 2013

Ballack nets hat-trick in final outing

Former Germany captain Michael Ballack officially brought the curtain down on his playing career with a farewell match in Leipzig on Wednesday night.

Ballack, 36, had invited friends and old team-mates to play in the game in front of a 44,000 capacity crowd at the city's Zentralstadion. His former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho coached the World XI and ex-Germany manager Rudi Voller took charge of the Friends of Ballack XI.

Didier Drogba, Roman Weidenfeller, Philipp Lahm, Ulf Kristen, Andriy Shevchenko, Michael Essien, Miroslav Klose, Lothar Matthaus and Formula One legend Michael Schumacher joined Ballack for his final 90 minutes on the pitch, while a number of high-ranking football officials such as Bayern president Uli Hoeness, Germany manager Joachim Low and German FA president Wolfgang Niersbach joined tennis legend Boris Becker at the match.

Ballack scored three times in a 4-3 win for his team, with Voller among those to pay tribute to the "man who scored the important goals".

Ballack began his career in the eastern town of Chemnitz in 1995 - only five years after Germany's reunification - and went on to establish himself as an icon throughout the former East Germany. It was appropriate that the final outing of his career was in Leipzig, only 80km away from the starting point of his life in football.

"I intended not to cry," Ballack said when his career finally ended 83 minutes into the game, with the former Bayer Leverkusen and Chelsea midfielder fighting back the tears as Frank Sinatra's My Way blaring out of the loudspeakers.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.