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Today’s Profile
Michael Ballack

Date & place of birth 26 September 1976 in Görlitz
Nickname 'Balla'
Height/weight/shoe size 1.89 m / 80 kg / 9
Marital status single (partner Simone), 2 children
Hobbies Golf, music, travel, movies, tennis
Motto "Don't take life too seriously!"

A strong runner with the ability to play the ball with both feet, Michael Ballack is a goalscoring midfield player par excellence. He is an intelligent midfielder with a delicate touch on the ball and a wide range of passing skills. Add to that an uncanny ability to win the ball in midfield with crunching tackles and being one of the best headers of the ball in world football- you have pretty nearly got yourself a complete player. Criticized for being 'lazy' on the pitch, Ballack proved that his seemingly slow gait in midfield was merely a case of the lion waiting to pounce. Goaltenders shudder at the thought of facing one of his powerful shots from outside the area or having to contend with him inside the box in set pieces.


Ballack came through the old East German youth scheme and was 14 when he signed for Chemnitzer FC. He was soon snapped up by 1. FC Kaiserslautern but fell out with coach Otto Rehhagel and was relegated to the bench.
1999: Bayer 04 Leverkusen paid €

4.8m for his services in 1999. By the time he left he club he had developed into one of Europe's best midfield players. He left Leverkusen after a memorable, if ultimately heartbreaking, 2001/02 season when they came second in the Bundesliga and were beaten in the UEFA Champions League and German Cup finals. Ballack also finished with 17 league goals, and his remarkable season led to him being named Germany's Footballer of the Year.

2002: After joining FC Bayern München in a €12.9m deal, Ballack had to adapt to a more defensive role but still managed ten goals as Bayern stormed to the Bundesliga title. He also scored twice in the 3-1 German Cup final win against FC Kaiserslautern.

2003/04: The midfield player was a big disappointment, struggling to find his finest form and managing just seven goals in 28 league matches as Bayern ended the season trophyless.

2004/05: So far this season Ballack has recovered his old form after a season of mediocrity. New coach Felix Magath has created a new role for him and he has fit it like a glove. He has been Bayern's best player this season so far and has been instrumental in their rise to the Bundesliga summit and being through to the quarter finals of the Champions League.

National team:
It was his strike against the Korean Republic, which put Germany through to the 2002 FIFA World Cup final - a game he was forced to miss through suspension. First capped in April 1999, Ballack was instrumental in steering Germany to Korea/Japan, scoring three times in his country's 5-1 aggregate play-off defeat of Ukraine. In UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifying he scored four goals and although Germany departed in the group stage, he was Man of the Match against the Netherlands and Latvia, scored a spectacular goal against the Czech Republic, and was selected in the All-Star Squad. He is almost a veteran at the international stage at 28 and after being recently named captain of Germany, is an integral part of coach Klinsmann's plans in the 2006 World Cup on home soil.

Did you know?
o Fans in Korea/Japan went on calling Ballack, 'Matt,' in reference to his uncanny resemblance to movie star Matt Damon.
o The Saxony-born player had a key role in promoting Leipzig's bid to stage the 2012 Olympic Games.

By Quazi Zulquarnain Islam





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