German national team coach Joachim Loew has announced that veteran midfielder Michael Ballack won’t be called-up for national duty anymore.
“We have seen many young players entering the limelight in the last couple of months. They showed us their potential for the future. The progress has been absolutly postive with these bunch of players since the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa,” Loew said on Thursday.
“I discussed the recent development with Michael Ballack during a meeting in late March and we had an open and honest conversation. The meeting was followed by several phone calls and it’s the time to take a decision prior to the upcoming European Championship season,” the coach continued.
Loew feels that “Ballack understands our point of view” and that the time has come to “take a honest and clear decision”.
Loew appreciated Ballack’s services for the country and told the press gathering: “Michael Ballack was a great leader of the national team for a decade and he played a vital part in the success of the team since the 2002 FIFA World Cup. He shaped an era and always put himself at the service of the team as a captain, which I was able to witness at close quarters at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2008.”
The German Football Federation (DFB) has invited Michael Ballack to lead Germany in an international friendly match against Brazil in August, which would serve as a farewell match to the former Chealsea and Bayern Munich player.