Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
Germany captain Michael Ballack was in the stands to watch his team lose 2-1 to Australia in a friendly on Tuesday, the first time he was present since their World Cup quarter-final win over Argentina last year.
He was in no mood for any chats with reporters, opting to sit back and watch the game, surely knowing that his own international career is quickly drawing to an end.
The last time the 34-year-old Bayer Leverkusen midfielder played for Germany was in March last year against Argentina when he won his 98th cap. An ankle injury meant he missed out on the World Cup in South Africa and a shinbone injury in September ruled hin out of the first half of the current Bundesliga campaign.
German media have speculated about the player’s possible return to the team but as much as Ballack would like to get another, last, shot at a major title at Euro 2012, it looks highly unlikely that this will happen.
John Terry has been stripped of the England captaincy following revelations about his private life.
Here is England coach Fabio Capello’s statement:
“After much thought, I have made the decision that it will be best for me to take the captaincy away from John Terry.
The hullabaloo surrounding the England cricket skipper has shown how different the role is in the two sports.
Arsene Wenger’s appointment of Cesc Fabregas as captain is more than just a strategic move, designed to ward off Barcelona attempts to recover the one that got away. The decision also says something significant about the way Wenger sees Arsenal Football Club.
Wenger has changed the youth system, the players’ diets and the style of play and he has now appointed a captain made in the image of another gifted Catalan, Josep Guardiola i Sala.