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The Toe Poke

Ballack angry at Low

Michael Ballack has hit out at Germany boss Joachim Low and described as a "farce" his offer of a farewell appearance for his country.

DFB calls time on Ballack

Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Ballack, 34, has won 98 caps for his country and is considered one of the finest players in Germany's recent history but, as the result of the injury that ruled him out of last summer's World Cup, his last cap came in March 2010.

The DFB recently released a statement on behalf of Low confirming that Ballack, who has struggled to secure regular first-team football for his club, would no longer be part of the team, but he has been offered the chance to make a final appearance in a friendly against Brazil next month.

However, Ballack said: "The style and content of (Low's) statement are unfortunately exactly the way he has treated me since my serious injury last summer.

"To call a friendly match that was arranged long ago a farewell match is a farce in my opinion. I know I owe my fans this match but I cannot accept the offer."

DFB general secretary Wolfgang Niersbach says he cannot understand why Ballack has reacted so strongly to the affair.

He told Kicker: "I have absolutely no understanding, let alone him saying it's a 'hypocrisy' and a 'farce'. In my view, all the conversations we have had with him have been fair and just.

"Michael should have contacted us on how to proceed. However, this did not happen so we decided to give a press release out because it was overdue really."


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