Thursday, June 10, 2010

Injured Ballack leaves Chelsea

Michael Ballack, the injured captain of Germany's national football team, announced on Wednesday he will leave the English club Chelsea FC after failing to agree on a contract extension.

After four years at Stamford Bridge, Ballack had hoped to stick with the London club for another two seasons. But his agent Michael Becker said Chelsea were willing to only offer him another 12 months on his contract ending July 1.

"I want to play for another two years at the highest level," said the 33-year-old Ballack on Wednesday on his website.

It is still unclear where Ballack will go, however, there is said to be interest from Bundesliga outfit Schalke 04 and some cash-rich clubs in Dubai.

Ballack managed to establish himself after a shaky start at the Premier League club, though he would never mirror his dominating role once held at Bayern Munich. In 167 appearances for Chelsea, he scored 26 goals.

He also won the FA Cup three times in 2007, 2009 and finally this year only a week after his team lifted the Premier League trophy, making Ballack the only German in history to win the double in England. The Champions League title, however, evaded him due to a loss in the penalty shootout with Manchester United in 2008’s final in Moscow.

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