Germany’s worst fears were realised when it was announced that their captain Michael Ballack will miss this summer’s World Cup in South Africa. He was hurt in the FA cup final between Premier League Champions Chelsea, the club he plays for and Portsmouth when a late tackle by Kevin-Prince Boateng caught his ankle. A scan in Munich on Monday revealed torn ligaments in Ballack’s right ankle putting him out of action for at least eight weeks. Michael Ballack has already won 98 caps and scored 42 goals for Germany. This year would have been his fourth and probably the last appearance in a World Cup.
Michael Ballack feels that Kevin-Prince Boateng tried to hurt him intentionally and that the referee, Chris Foy should have shown him a red card instead of a yellow. Ballack who was very worried about his injury said, “I have seen [the tackle] on TV and to say it was not on purpose means you have to be a friend of Boateng.”
Kevin-Prince Boateng recently snubbed Germany to play for Ghana and with the two teams meeting in the group stages, Boateng had been dubbed by the German Media as ‘ Public Enemy No. 1″. The new Ghanaian player has been accused of tackling Ballack to prevent him from meeting the Black Stars at the World Cup. The Portsmouth player however has vehemently denied the allegation and apologized for the reckless tackle.
Boateng’s tackle on Ballack did not look premeditated but it has emerged that the two have a history of not getting along and Boateng could have been holding a grudge against Ballack for a remark the German captain allegedly made four years ago during a game when both played in the German Bundesliga.
The story goes, Boateng had just scored his first goal for Hertha [Berlin]. Hertha Berlin’s next match was against Bayern Munich and Boateng got into an argument with Michael Ballack. Ballack it is alleged said to him, ‘You’ve scored one goal, and you think you are the best’.
Boateng’s defenders however, argue that his decision to play for Ghana instead of Germany is the reason that the German press is so critical of him.
While German Coach Joachim Loew was shocked and feels Ballack’s absence was a ‘severe blow’ for the team’s prospects. Ballack’s agent threatened to to sue Boateng for setting out to intentionally injure the German captain; Michael Ballack , who has won the English Premier League title and the FA Cup playing for Chelsea this year was ‘angry’ but was also philosophical. “It’s football and you have to live with it,” he said.
Article first published as Germany’s Fears Realised: Ballack out of the Soccer World Cup on Technorati.