Michael Ballack has apologised for insulting Cologne as he celebrated Bayer Leverkusen's Bundesliga win over Schalke on Sunday.
Ballack was celebrating the win with Leverkusen's fans when he shouted abuse about their Rhine rivals into a megaphone.
The former Chelsea player issued an apology via the Leverkusen website.
He said: ''It was certainly not clever of me to shout the comments about Cologne. This can happen in the euphoria of victory, but it should not. Therefore I have no problem apologising to the fans of Cologne and to the club.''