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Name Michael Ballack
Gender Male
Ethnic German
Job German Footballer
  Germany Captain
Desc Michael Ballack was an eye-catching free transfer in 2006, and it’s not hard to see why Chelsea made the swoop. The Bayern Munich midfielder was a three-time Bundesliga winner at Bayern, and was named German Footballer of the Year for three straight seasons. Over the next four years at Chelsea, Ballack enjoyed a trophy-laden time at Stamford Bridge, winning two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and the League Cup

Affiliation

Org Germany National Team
Club as Player Bayern Munich

2014 07 12 Retrieve

[Lahm was eventually made captain of Germany and Bayern. He took over from Ballack when the latter was injured in the runup to the 2010 World Cup. Ballack, however, would not go quietly. Only a few days after Germany’s campaign in South Africa ended in the semi-finals against Spain, Ballack criticised Lahm] I am the captain of the national team. Philipp Lahm made his claim at a moment that I felt was inopportune. I was injured and couldn’t defend myself. A player can’t request what position he wants to play – and it is the same with the captaincy. One should respect that there are hierarchies. I’m going to talk to Philipp about this. This is not an issue for me, though. I am still the captain

2016 08 27 Retrieve

[Michael Ballack on Mario Gotze’s return to Borussia Dortmund] I can’t judge that move, just like most of us can’t. He grew up in Dortmund and he is for sure one of the most gifted players we have at the moment. There a few players like him who know what to do in every situation, just like he does. If he is able to perform on his highest level, there are few others who are able to always make the right move like he does. But he has to feel good and he has to bring it. That he was not able to do so in the recent past, neither at Bayern nor the national team, is probably for many different reasons. Maybe it was trust, there were a lot of speculations, but I think Dortmund knows best how to treat him

2017 09 16 Retrieve

[Michael Ballack claims mentally weak Arsenal were never a match during his time at Chelsea] They were always special games for me because Arsenal are a good club to be playing against but I always felt at that time we were mentally stronger and we were the better team. The statistics from that time show some good wins for us, but we also lost to them. Now with Chelsea playing Arsenal this season, it is a situation where you can put a rival in trouble with a big victory. And I think the team and especially the fans are always excited when it comes to Chelsea v Arsenal

2017 09 26 Retrieve

[Michael Ballack says Under-fire Ancelotti’s Bayern tenure will be judged on Champions League results] Michael Ballack. It’s very important how the club and the coach communicate with them in this matter. Franck and Arjen are absolute world class players in the autumn of their career. And dealing with such things can be difficult, the past has shown

2019 09 16 Retrieve

[Michael Ballack believes Bayern Munich will renew their interest in RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner next summer] He has expressed his gratitude to Leipzig with his contract extension. But I think next year a switch to Bayern could be on again

2020 02 04 Retrieve

[Ballack advises Kai Havertz against Bayern Munich move] At Bayern you need other characteristics to assert yourself. Just being good is not enough there. [Havertz needs] time and the robustness to be mentally prepared for Bayern. He is still in the development phase and still has mistakes in his game

If the Bavarians act in perspective and you still have the claim to get the best German players, Havertz has to be brought in

2020 02 12 Retrieve

[Bayern have ‘big advantage’ over Chelsea in Champions League because Lampard is ‘inexperienced’] Bayern are favourites, for many reasons. Experience speaks strongly in their favour. Chelsea’s transfer ban has compelled them to put their faith in young players. Their manager is new and inexperienced in his job, and that is a big advantage for Bayern. The performance levels of Bayern’s players are another plus for them. They are more stable than they were last autumn

Chelsea have a young team, which has the potential to explode. They have mostly young players, a bit like Borussia Dortmund

2020 03 24 Retrieve

[Ballack dismisses criticism of ‘intense’ ex-Chelsea boss] You really get caught by his personality and by his ambitions. Working with a coach like that was something totally new for me. He was impressive and I felt totally comfortable with the decision [to sign for Chelsea]. The relationship is still good with him. You will not find many players who speak badly about him

[When quizzed on Mourinho’s sudden Chelsea exit in September 2007] I was experienced enough to understand. When you are not winning, the coach is more or less the weakest person in the team who can be replaced. He was in his fourth year. If you look at the average time a manager has to work in a club, it was quite a good time. The way he worked was so intense that maybe you come to a point where things are not working anymore. Even then, the fans know what he achieved at the club to take them back to that level

[Ballack said of Grant, who was sacked after just eight months at the helm] He never really had a chance. It is really difficult, after Jose Mourinho, to work at Chelsea. It could cause a problem for any manager because Mourinho had such a relationship with the players and the fans. Grant managed the team in a different way. A lot of players thought he would be weak, but he wasn’t. He was really smart and intelligent

2020 05 13 Retrieve

[Germany great Michael Ballack says Kai Havertz should resist the urge to leave Bayer Leverkusen for Bayern Munich at least for the time being] Players with his quality are in demand everywhere, but I think he’s in good hands in Leverkusen. The general conditions there are perfect for top young players and their further development. Leverkusen play attractive football, the training opportunities are very good. Leverkusen also offers a cautious environment. As a player [at Leverkusen] you can sometimes make mistakes without being the focus of criticism - you should appreciate that. Of course, a player like Havertz would also like to play in the Champions League, so it would be important for Leverkusen to qualify

As a footballer he’d bring everything with him. If we talk about Bayern, if you want to take the next step as a player, you also have to be prepared for such a challenge in order to survive in such a robust environment. That will really weigh up his surroundings – [determine] when the right time has come to take the next step

2020 05 23 Retrieve

[Ballack feels Van Dijk is made to look better by the calibre of his opposition] Virgil van Dijk is very lucky to play in an era where there is no Drogba, [Frank] Lampard, Alan Shearer, Henry, [Wayne] Rooney, [Robin] Van Persie, [Carlos] Tevez, [Emmanuel] Adebayor and Diego Costa in the Premier League. No wonder they think he is the best defender in the league

2020 06 05 Retrieve

[Michael Ballack says Kai Havertz needs regular Champions League football and Bayer Leverkusen must secure a top-four finish] I think he’s a great talent. He has outstanding technical skills and plays very freely. It will be important for him to always play in the Champions League in order to be able to compete with the best. Therefore it will be important for Leverkusen to reach fourth place

[Ballack warned the 20-year-old still has plenty of room for improvement] One thing is clear - Havertz is not yet a finished player. That is not meant negatively, but I still see potential for improvement in his personality development and body language. But that is completely normal at his age. As a captain, he first has to learn to deal with this responsibility. His style of play has always been very carefree. If he ever lost the ball, he was allowed to stop. With a top club, everything will be more difficult and will no longer be accepted. He must and will be aware that he has an exceptional position in Leverkusen. He should ask himself now, ‘How long do I want to have this? How long do I enjoy it? Or will I take on the next challenge with even greater demands on my game this summer?’. It comes with games and experience, especially with your own aspirations. It is crucial what Havertz demands from himself and his team and where his own path should lead. In any case, he has to be mentally ready for a change.

2020 06 05b Retrieve

[Former Bayern and Bayer midfielder Michael Ballack thinks there is a chance Havertz will stay in Leverkusen, but that would probably require Peter Bosz’s side to finish in the top four this season] I think he’s a great talent. He has outstanding technical skills and plays very freely. It will be important for him to always play in the Champions League in order to be able to compete with the best. Therefore it will be important for Leverkusen to reach fourth place

2020 06 05b Retrieve

[Michael Ballack believes that Havertz needs to be playing in the Champions League] I think he’s a great talent. He has outstanding technical skills and plays very freely. It will be important for him to always play in the Champions League in order to be able to compete with the best. Therefore it will be important for Leverkusen to reach fourth place [to keep hold of Havertz].

2020 06 07 Retrieve

[Michael Ballack believes that Timo Werner’s prospective move to Chelsea could work out fantastically for both sides] I think it’s a good decision for both sides. For Timo, because he fits there, because the way [Chelsea] play football suits him. I think that in Chelsea he has decided on a club where he has a better chance of playing, which is very important to him. The team will be renewed, it will certainly be strengthened and a lot of money will be spent in Chelsea to knock again at the top. A good young team is being built there, which is very promising

[Ballack expects big things of the striker, he admitted that the added physicality of the Premier League would require no little adaptation] That is the biggest difference in England that there is less whistling (from referees), especially for strikers. It is much more intense, with a lot more duels. He has to get used to it quickly because that’s the point. He is a robust player, is very fast, but he is also physically good in a duel and he will quickly get used to it