Ballack’s newest pain - being a spectator

Erasmia: Germany’s injured captain, Michael Ballack, is going through a whole new bout of pain at the 2010 World Cup - watching the team as a spectator.

“It is painful for me. I would like to be on the pitch, but that’s football,” said Ballack, who arrived in South Africa prior to Germany’s 4-0 quarter-final demolition of Argentina.

Ballack, who is still nurturing a nasty ankle injury, said Germany’s dazzling performance in South Africa was “scary”.

Having walked all over England and Diego Maradona’s boys, his teammates now play Spain in the semifinal Wednesday. And Ballack was in no doubt as to who will win that match.

“I assume that we will now reach the final.”

The 33-year-old Ballack, who has earned 98 caps with the national team, is looking to stay close to the team.

The new Bayer Leverkusen midfielder is going through an individual rehabilitation programme in South Africa in coordination with the German team doctor, Hans-Wilhelm Mueller-Wohlfahrt, and the team’s fitness coaches.

Ballack’s presence has not gone unnoticed by the German players.

“It’s nice to see that he came here. And as the captain it’s a support for us,” said German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger.


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