Former Germany captain Ballack retires

Updated: Oct 03, 2012, 14:41 PM IST

Berlin: Former Germany captain Michael Ballack has announced his retirement from football.

"At the age of 36 years, I can look back on a long and wonderful time in professional football. As a child I would never have even been able to dream of such a career," Ballack said Tuesday.

The former "Capitano" started his professional career in 1995 at Chemnitz and has played for clubs like Kaiserslautern, Bayer Leverkusen (twice), Bayern Munich and Chelsea, reports Xinhua.

In his overall career statistics, Ballack made 585 official matches to score 145 goals.

"It was a privilege to work with world class coaches and fantastic players. Of course I am going to miss to play in front of 80,000 spectators or scoring goals."

Ballack`s contract at Bayer Leverkusen was not extended in the summer. Nevertheless he had some offers from around the world.

"The last few month without football have shown me that the time has come to stop. I`m looking forward to a new chapter in my life. I want to thank my family and all the great people who supported me."

Ballack had won four Bundesliga title, three German Cups, one Premier League title and three FA Cups.