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By ESPN Staff

Skipper Ballack misses Costa Rica opener

MUNICH, June 9 (Reuters) - Germany captain Michael Ballack was left out of the World Cup opener against Costa Rica in Group A on Friday, despite having declared himself fit on the eve of the match.

Coach Juergen Klinsmann resisted the temptation to bring his most influential player back early from his calf injury, instead opting for Tim Borowski as a straight swap for Ballack in the centre of midfield.

Klinsmann named the experienced right-sided midfielder Bernd Schneider as the stand-in captain.

Costa Rica had slight doubts over goalkeeper Jose Francisco Porras, midfielder Mauricio Solis and defender Gilberto Martinez but all three were cleared to play.

Paulo Wanchope, now recovered from his knee injuries, took his place up front alongside Ronald Gomez.