Ballack faces two challenges at Chelsea

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:36 IST

Michael Ballack faces two challenges with Chelsea - winning the Champions League and accepting that he's no longer the main man in midfield.

Ballack faces two challenges at Chelsea

London:

Michael Ballack faces two challenges with Chelsea - winning the Champions League and accepting that he's no longer the main man in midfield. The Germany captain left Bayern Munich on a free transfer after failing to win European club soccer's top trophy. Now, at Chelsea, he has to fit in at central midfield with England's Frank Lampard. "Why can't we be successful together?" asked Ballack, who joined Chelsea on a weekly salary estimated at 130,000 pounds weekly - among the highest in world soccer. Ballack, who turns 30 next month, has a game similar to Lampard's. They can both attack and defend. Talented with both feet, the German can also play on either wing and is among the world's best headers of the ball. While Ballack was the key player in Germany's third-place finish at the World Cup last month, few had a poorer tournament than Lampard. He failed to score, shooting wide and wild throughout, and missed in a penalty shootout as England lost to Portugal in the quarterfinals. But that doesn't mean Ballack is expecting to replace the Englishman, who finished second in the voting behind Ronaldinho in last year's world player of the year award. "There's a great competition in the midfield," Ballack said. "He (Lampard) is a very good player and it's important for us to play together. Chelsea knows my strengths and my game. It will not be a problem." Ballack spent nine seasons in his native Germany - with Kaiserslautern, Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich - and in four of the last five seasons, he's scored at least 15 goals. (AP)

Topics : Football
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