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Premier League's best youngsters are English

Tactics and Analysis 11 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Aug 23, 2010

Ballack eyes Germany call after Bundesliga return

Michael Ballack celebrated a winning return to the Bundesliga on Sunday as he played the full 90 minutes in Bayer Leverkusen's 2-0 win at Borussia Dortmund and one of the first to congratulate him was Germany coach Joachim Low.

• Sunday's Bundesliga round-up

Low was a spectator at the Westfalenstadion and he sent Ballack a congratulatory text message at the final whistle.

"I was really happy about the SMS,'' Ballack said. "We are going to speak on the phone this week.''

Ballack is bidding to continue his international career, preferably as captain, after missing the World Cup due to injury and he will be awaiting a call from Low on Friday when he names his squad for the Euro 2012 qualifiers against Belgium and Azerbaijan.

However, the former Bayern Munich and Chelsea midfielder knows he can play a lot better than he did on Sunday, even though he still helped his side to make a perfect start to the season.

"There is still a lot of room for improvement,'' he added. "I now need match practice. Every single game is important for me.

"We will have to see (if I am called up). I am not yet 100%, but I still see myself as part of the national team. It would be great to be involved.''

Borussia Dortmund were unfortunate not to have levelled the game at 1-1 less than a minute before Renato Augusto scored Leverkusen's second goal after having a goal from Sebastian Kehl was wrongly ruled out for offside.

However, coach Jurgen Klopp was philosophical about his side's false start to the season.

"We made far bigger errors than the referee's assistant,'' he said.

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