Ballack's Germany career looks to be over for Loew

AFP, Sunday 22 May 2011

Coach Joachim Loew said Sunday he plans to have a final meeting with former German captain Michael Ballack after June's Euro 2012 qualifiers and bring the curtain down on his stellar international career

Ballack (Photo: Reuters)

Ballack, 34, won the last of his 98 caps in March 2010 before suffering back-to-back injuries last year which have seen him struggle for form with Bayer Leverkusen, who he joined last summer after being released by Chelsea.

"Michael and I have agreed to talk again after the international matches," Loew told German daily Bild on Sunday.

"We've shared a lot (of opinions), he knows what I think, that is why it will be a final (formal) meeting."

Ballack has been left out of the squad for the friendly match against Uruguay next Sunday and the Euro 2012 qualifiers against Austria, on June 3 in Vienna, and Azerbaijan, on June 7 in Baku.

In the Bild interview, Loew gave no hint that Ballack is part of his plans for Euro 2012 to be held in the Ukraine and Poland next year.

Loew also revealed Ballack cut short a visit to the Germany camp at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, because "he felt he was no longer part of this team."

According to press reports here, Ballack could win his 99th—and final cap—in the friendly against Brazil on August 10 in Stuttgart.

"I am aware of the respect he deserves in view of what all he has done for Germany," acknowledged Loew.

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