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Germany's Michael Ballack to miss World Cup

In a massive setback to Germany's World Cup efforts, captain Michael Ballack was ruled out of the tournament because of an ankle injury suffered in the FA Cup final for Chelsea on Saturday. Former German players and coaches react to the news.

Ballack was injured on a hard tackle by Portsmouth's Kevin-Prince Boateng, who was provisionally selected for Ghana's World Cup squad. Boateng's brother Jerome was called up by Germany. Both were born in Germany, and Kevin-Prince played for Germany's junior teams before committing to Ghana, his father's homeland. Ghana and Germany are both in Group D at the World Cup.

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By Steve Goff  |  May 17, 2010; 8:53 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Germany  | Tags: Germany, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Michael Ballack, World Cup  
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Comments

so now their team is 100% from the domestic league. suppose that means they don't have a chance. ;-)

Posted by: troy6 | May 17, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Isn't he a bit old? I just see Ballack going side to side or backwards on offense, not really creating anything, and giving out some hard fouls on defense. I think Germany will be better off for this.

Posted by: GeneWells | May 17, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Better off without Ballack?? I think that's over-egging the pudding.

I might agree that it doesn't hurt them that bad. I have no idea what plans they had for him.

Posted by: JkR- | May 17, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Couldn't have happeneded to a nice more classy ... oh wait you said Michael Ballack. Well, um, that's uh, a shame there that he didn't crash into Terry at the time for good measury.

Posted by: M__N | May 17, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

1st Germany's keeper and now this? Ain't a good sign.

Posted by: nairbsod | May 17, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Mici wont be missed so much for his playing ability rather his veteran leadership on the pitch. He understands Joachim's system better than anyone else out there, and that is what normally carries Germany so far in the big international tournaments. Losing a longtime established veteran in Ballack is a much bigger loss than one might think.

We're about to find out if Herr Löw is as good a coach as he is made out to be.

Posted by: rademaar | May 17, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

so now their team is 100% from the domestic league. suppose that means they don't have a chance. ;-)

Posted by: troy6

Didn't hurt Italy.

Anyway, the German squad was looking iffy to me before, and now the oft-injured Ballack is out. Adjust your predictions accordingly.

Posted by: Reignking | May 17, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Maybe if Jermaine Jones gets healthy soon...

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 17, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Thats big! It sucks for Germany to lose their captain! We all should be holding our breathe and saying prayers that Donovan does not get injured before the Cup. Germany is still better off without Ballack than we would be without Donovan.

Posted by: alan19 | May 17, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Well, um, that's uh, a shame there that he didn't crash into Terry at the time for good measury.
Posted by: M__N
============

This made me laugh, although it shouldn't have. Schadenfreude.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 17, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Sucks for Ballack. Not the classiest of players, but he was key to the German team, and he didn't deserve to be taken out by a nasty tackle. Ballack is saying that the attempt to injure was intentional. This whole incident should keep the German tabloids happy for awhile.

Posted by: Miles_Standish_Proud | May 17, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Kevin Prince-Boateng had to make up for his PK miss.

Looks like not only is Ballack oft-injured, but it is always his ankle. So we shouldn't be that surprised.

Posted by: Reignking | May 17, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Video here. Not the best camera angle and slo-mo distorts the perspective so it's hard to speak to intent. Doesn't look drastically different to me from what happens a dozen times or more every weekend in the Premiership.

Posted by: benonthehill | May 17, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

M__N,

Couldn't agree more. If only the chain reaction could have extended to Ashley Cole, as well. I actually have a hard time not despising anyone on Chelsea aside from Lampard and (the hopefully soon to be FORMER Chelsea player) Joe Cole.

Posted by: daandre3 | May 17, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

...Doesn't look drastically different to me from what happens a dozen times or more every weekend in the Premiership.

Posted by: benonthehill | May 17, 2010 10:51 AM

One step further, it looks like a number of Michael Ballack tackles that are late and/or over the ball. It sucks that he has to miss the World Cup, but if that was intentional, then so too is every other similar tackle. Cry me the Rhine, Michael Ballack.

Posted by: DCU_Rick | May 17, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Feel absolutely terrible for the Germans. Ballack is a "get under your skin" player, no doubt, and he was throwing sly elbows during the match. But FA Cup or not, Boateng (especiallys since he is/was a German) should have had more respect for the game than to make such a challenge, which appeared full of intention.

I want to see these teams at their best. What a shame the Germans won't have their captain.

Posted by: stevec3 | May 17, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

@daandre3: You don't like Drogba, one of Time's most influential people?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 17, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Feel absolutely terrible for the Germans. Ballack is a "get under your skin" player, no doubt, and he was throwing sly elbows during the match. But FA Cup or not, Boateng (especiallys since he is/was a German) should have had more respect for the game than to make such a challenge, which appeared full of intention.

I want to see these teams at their best. What a shame the Germans won't have their captain.

Posted by: stevec3 | May 17, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

They'll be fine. They are in a very tough group, but are still by far the best team and still should finish first in the group.

As Americans, we're all too familiar with the pitfalls of building your WC campaign around a chronically gimpy leader.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | May 17, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Onyewu signs a contract extension for one year with AC Milan and asked not to receive wages.

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=788029&sec=europe&cc=5901

Posted by: RedDevil1 | May 17, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Inasmuch as Ballack is a person, I feel for him as he must be disappointed. As a fan of the game, I'm glad he won't be around to tarnish the sport further. I agree in part with the John Terry comment as well although he has a great deal more skill and finesse than Ballack, which makes his flopping and fairly regular petulant fouling harder to understand. I still will never be able to forgive Ballack for denying us the chance to go through to the semis by climbing Eddie Pope's back. Perhaps what goes around comes around...

Posted by: templardoc | May 17, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

An honorable stance from Gooch, but it also may serve to keep him on AC Milan's 2012-2013 roster and raise his value whe the time comes from new negotiations or a transfer.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 17, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

"A club statement read: "Onyewu, who has been out for virtually the whole season due to injury, but who at this time is getting ready to face the World Cup adventure in South Africa with his national team, has become a star today with a significant gesture from a personal and professional standpoint.

"Onyewu has requested and obtained a contract extension from June 30, 2012 until June 30, 2013. With respect to that year, as was his wish, which has been appreciated by the club, Onyewu has asked not to receive any type of wages. This is an exemplary gesture that deserves our sincere congratulations.''"
---------------------------------------------------

Amazing. Onyewu finally became a "star", and he did it without ever taking the pitch.

Seriously though, is May 17th the Italian version of April Fools Day?

Posted by: fischy | May 17, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Does "star" have a dirty meaning in Italian?

I'm surprised Ballack's injury was so serious. Am I wrong in remembering that he came back onto the field and played a few more minutes before being subbed off?

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | May 17, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Other USA news -- One of the most promising young American defenders, 17-y.o. Zachary Herold, is being forced to retire a couple months into his pro career, due to a heart ailment.

Unless this is just an elaborate ploy to escape Toronto FC....

Posted by: fischy | May 17, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I know the Spanish have their version of April Fool's Day in the winter, so I hope so.

I really don't understand the Onyewu move, especially before they have a new manager. Or before the WC.

Posted by: Reignking | May 17, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

They are all stars and everyone gets a trophy - the Americanization of calcio.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 17, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

This might help the U.S. If we finish 2nd in our group, the likely 2nd round meeting will be with Germany, weakened or not by a Ballack absence.

Posted by: delantero | May 17, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Are you talking about Rossi?

Posted by: Reignking | May 17, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Henry? I'd rather have Yaya Toure.

Prediction -- Serbia/Ghana advance in Group D as Kevin Prince-Boateng laughs at Ballack, sitting in the stands.

Posted by: Reignking | May 17, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Prediction -- Serbia/Ghana advance in Group D Posted by: Reignking

Has Germany ever not made it out of the group stage?

Posted by: delantero | May 17, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh I feel so bad for them. Not. I will forever hate him for the goal and Frings for the handball on the line. I laugh at your misfortune, Ballack.

Posted by: JRandomReader | May 17, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

@delantero- Under the current format, no. Germany lost in the second round group stage in 1978, and lost in the first round in 1938 (served Hitler right) when the WC was a knockout tournament.

I would be very surprised to see them not get out of the group stage. Personally, I think Serbia is way overrated (they beat a porous French team that had to cheat their way into the WC in qualifying), and Ghana and Australia are certainly very good but not good enough to break down a very disciplined defense. I also expect sort of a "sophomore slump" if you will from the Aussies.

Posted by: rademaar | May 17, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I270,

You're right. He donates money to charity. That makes up for whining, dirty play and "steppin" to that ref last year in the Champions League like he was gonna shank him. Class guy. Nothing less for Roman. Surprised Chelsea haven't bought Mascherano and Gattuso to field a side of complete evil.

Posted by: daandre3 | May 17, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Away from the bright lights and manicured fields, there is another side of soccer.

http://www.pelada-movie.com/

Posted by: kristimichelle13 | May 17, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

This means that Germany's chances in the World Cup are slim to none. Since, he was their best player.

Check out my blog post on the World Cup
http://eastcoastpaperboy.com/2010/05/14/bono-and-the-beautiful-game/

Posted by: jon3889 | May 17, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

If you are saying Ballack is Germany's best player, I don't think anyone is going to bother clicking on your blog.

Posted by: FlyersSuck | May 17, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Ballack - the Beckham of Germany

Posted by: GeneWells | May 17, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

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