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Ballack wants farewell match, no chance says Bierhoff

Retired ex-Germany captain Michael Ballack has said he is still hoping to play in a farewell game, but team manager Oliver Bierhoff says there is little chance of the national squad being involved.

Reported by: Agence France-Presse
Last updated on Sunday, 14 October, 2012 18:37 IST
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Berlin: Retired ex-Germany captain Michael Ballack has said he is still hoping to play in a farewell game, but team manager Oliver Bierhoff says there is little chance of the national squad being involved.

Former Chelsea star Ballack, who turned 36 in September, retired from professional football at the start of the month after his two-year contract at Bayer Leverkusen expired having made 98 appearances for Germany.

Ballack turned down an offer by the German Football Federation (DFB) to make his final appearance in the friendly victory over Brazil in August 2011, but the midfielder says he still wants a farewell match.

"I would hope so. Of course, I would like to say goodbye to the fans," Ballack, who spent four years with Chelsea, told Cologne newspaper Express when asked if he wanted a farewell match.

"I will at some point in the foreseeable future get my coaching license.

"But whether or not I will be a manager, I can't say yet."

But Bierhoff said it looks unlikely the DFB will be involved in any plans after Ballack turned down their initial offer.

"I don't see there being a chance any more," Bierhoff told German broadcaster ZDF.

"We made Michael an offer to play his 99th and 100th international, which he didn't go for.

"I think that would have been the best possibility to give him a good send off, but he ruled that out.

"I personally think the time for a farewell match is gone, we only have a few dates available."

Bayer Leverkusen's director of sport Rudi Voeller says he still wants to see a special game for Ballack organised by the club.

"Everyone had assumed Michael would continue to play," Voeller told Bild on Sunday, having also advised Ballack to get his coaching licence.

"Now we have to see whether we can organise a farewell match, it should be put together by the DFB, Ballack and Bayer."

Story first published on: Sunday, 14 October 2012 18:35 IST

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