The official website for European football

Ex-Germany captain Ballack retires from football

Published: Tuesday 2 October 2012, 19.43CET
"I can look back on a long and wonderful time in professional football, something I would not have dared dream of as a kid," said Michael Ballack after announcing his retirement.
Ex-Germany captain Ballack retires from football
Michael Ballack after what proved his final game in May ©Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 2 October 2012, 19.43CET

Ex-Germany captain Ballack retires from football

"I can look back on a long and wonderful time in professional football, something I would not have dared dream of as a kid," said Michael Ballack after announcing his retirement.

Former Germany captain Michael Ballack has announced his retirement from football.

The recent months without football have shown me that now is the time to quit
Michael Ballack

Ballack, who turned 36 last week, played what proved his farewell Bundesliga match at the beginning of May for Bayer 04 Leverkusen, who he helped to the UEFA Champions League final a decade ago. Although he had been linked with sides in North America and Australia, he has opted not to play on after 585 club appearances and 145 goals.

Capped 98 times by Germany, scoring 42 times, Ballack said in a statement issued by a Hamburg law firm: "Aged 36, I can look back on a long and wonderful time in professional football, something I would not have dared dream of as a kid. It was a privilege to work with first-class coaches and fantastic team-mates. I will definitely miss playing in front of 80,000 fans or scoring a goal."

East German-born Ballack began his career at Chemnitzer FC and in 1998 won the league title with 1. FC Kaiserslautern, something he went on to do three times with FC Bayern München and once at Chelsea FC, where he again reached the UEFA Champions League final in 2008. He rejoined Leverkusen in 2010, also the year which brought his last Germany cap, having been the dominant player in the team for much of the decade, reaching the 2002 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2008 finals.

"The recent months without football have shown me that now is the time to quit," Ballack added. "I am looking forward to a new chapter in my life and thank my family and all the great people who have advanced, challenged, accompanied and supported me. They all have played a big part in my success."

Last updated: 05/02/13 9.41CET

Related information

Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/association=ger/news/newsid=1869826.html#ex+germany+captain+ballack+retires+from+football

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.