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Michael Ballack

Published: Saturday 1 January 2011, 18.28CET
Chelsea FC
Published: Saturday 1 January 2011, 18.28CET

Michael Ballack

Chelsea FC

Clubs: Chemnitzer FC, 1. FC Kaiserslautern, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, FC Bayern München, Chelsea FC, Bayer 04 Leverkusen

UEFA honours
UEFA European Championship:
runner-up 2008
UEFA EURO 2008: Team of the Tournament
UEFA EURO 2004: Team of the Tournament
UEFA Champions League: runner-up 2002, 2008
UEFA Club Midfielder of the Year: 2002 users' Team of the Year: 2002

• Born in the former East Germany, Ballack left first club Chemnitz for Kaiserslautern, with whom he won the Bundesliga title – as a fringe player – in 1998; joined Leverkusen in 1999 and was a triple runner-up with the Rhineland club in 2002, finishing second in the UEFA Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup.

• First capped by Germany in March 1999, he was a bit-part player for Germany at his first major tournament, UEFA EURO 2000, but far more influential at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where he spearheaded Germany's run to the final (for which he was suspended) with winning goals in the quarter-final and semi-final; captained his country to third place on home soil in 2006 and also to another final at UEFA EURO 2008.

• Left Leverkusen for Bayern in 2002 and won three Bundesliga and German Cup doubles in his four seasons at the club; voted German Footballer of the Year three times – 2002, 2003 and 2005.

Joined Chelsea on a free transfer in 2006; struggled at first but was a UEFA Champions League finalist in 2007/08 – despite exclusion from the official squad in the group stage – and, on the domestic front, a League Cup winner in 2007, an FA Cup winner in 2007 and 2009 and a domestic double winner in 2010.

• Injured in 2010 FA Cup final and therefore missed World Cup in South Africa; left Chelsea that summer and returned to Leverkusen, where he sustained another long-term injury.

Last updated: 11/01/11 15.06CET

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