Ballack calls farewell match a `farce`

Berlin: Former Germany captain Michael Ballack has called an offer to end his international career with a friendly game against Brazil in August a "farce", saying he was not treated with respect by Germany coach Joachim Loew.

Loew on Thursday ruled out using the 34-year-old Bayer Leverkusen midfielder again, saying a number of talented younger players were now more important to the team ahead of Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.

The German football federation has offered Ballack, who was kept on as the team`s official captain despite his injury, a 99th and last international appearance against the Brazilians in a friendly arranged long before Thursday`s announcement.

"The style and content of the statement (by Loew) are unfortunately exactly like the way he (has) treated me since my serious injury last summer," Ballack said in a statement on Friday.

"To call a friendly match that was arranged long ago a farewell match is a farce in my opinion. I know I owe my fans this match but I cannot accept the offer."

Ballack, who has scored 42 goals in 98 internationals since making his debut in 1999, has not played for the national side since March last year after sustaining an ankle injury that forced him to miss last year`s World Cup finals.

Germany finished third in that tournament in South Africa after fielding their youngest World Cup team in 76 years.

Bureau Report

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