Reuters Soccer Blog

Germany doing just fine without Ballack

March 30, 2011

SOCCER-GERMANY/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.

Ballack clings on to captaincy but will he make the team?

September 2, 2010

SOCCER-GERMANY/When Germany coach Joachim Loew confirmed Michael Ballack as team captain this week he put an end to a tug-of-war with defender Philipp Lahm. Lahm had been the captain at the World Cup in South Africa and wanted to remain after Ballack’s return from injury.

Germany’s continuing midfield mayhem

May 26, 2010

SOCCER-WORLD/GERMANY-BALLACKWhen Germany captain Michael Ballack was ruled out of the World Cup following a scan on his ankle last week there was no doubt this was a major setback for the three-times champions. By far the most experienced player, Ballack was the team’s leader having taken Germany to World Cup and Euro finals. The loss of midfielder Christian Traesch, only days after Ballack’s injury, could prove an even heavier blow.

Lehmann on brink of Germany comeback?

April 24, 2009

When former Germany keeper Jens Lehmann said earlier this month he wants to play at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, many said it was just another provocative statement by the 39-year-old at the twilight of his career.