In football, there are 3 kinds of players; the one’s who are talented and get recognised and rewarded for their performances, the one’s who are not that talented and are lucky most of the time and get recognised for their performances and the one’s who are talented and never get recognised or rewarded at all.
Michael Ballack falls into the last category. The 35 year old German has had an illustrious career with some of Europe’s biggest clubs and as his career comes to an end, a medal that does not hang in his trophy cabinet is one every player dreams of – the champions league medal.
At national level Ballack does not have a European or a world title that sits pretty in his cabinet but that is a wrong indication to the talent he possess. Were we to sit down and talk about the number of times Ballack has come close to winning these trophies, we would probably pity the German.
Truth be said, i was never a big Ballack fan until he moved to Chelsea. It was then that i realised just how talented he was and although he tasted some success with the club, many people do know the major reason he moved to Chelsea was because he believed that the Blues was his ticket to European stardom.
We all know how the story ended in 2008 and how Ballack never really looked liked himself again. He moved back to his native Germany and took a low profile. Not known for his outspokenness, Ballack recently blasted his former Chelsea team mates saying that their lack of mental strength was the main reason why they were experiencing a bad run of form.
“We knew before the game they were in a difficult moment but it’s only when you play against a team on the pitch that you see what is really happening,” Ballack said after Chelsea’s 2-1 loss to Leverkusen in the Champions League.
“We could feel it on the pitch every minute, especially at the beginning of the match, that they were not as strong as they normally are.
“Even when they were 1-0 up we could sense that, that they didn’t have the strength mentally that they normally have. We felt that on the pitch.”
That said, Ballack who’s contract with Leverkusen expires at the end of the season is thought to be considering a move to the MLS. In fact, reports suggest that German sportswear maker Adidas are looking to make him the new face of their brand with David Beckham destined to leave the league.
It still remains to be seen whether the move will materialize, however, one thing is for sure, Ballack will be remembered as one of Germany’s greats.