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Ballack farewell overshadowed by Schuerrle Chelsea deal

June 06, 2013 08:09 IST
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Former Germany captain Michael Ballack's farewell match in Leipzig on Wednesday was overshadowed by the potential transfer of Andre Schuerrle to Chelsea with German media reporting a deal has been agreed.

New Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who coached Ballack at the English club, was in Leipzig and the long-speculated transfer of Bayer Leverkusen winger Schuerrle to the Premier League club looked to be heading towards completion.

Ballack farewell overshadowed by Schuerrle Chelsea dealMourinho himself refused to confirm or deny it, telling reporters: "We will see."

German newspaper Express, however, said the deal had been finalised after a meeting in Germany between Mourinho and Leverkusen sports director Rudi Voeller.

The rapid 22-year-old Schuerrle joined Leverkusen from Mainz 05 in 2011 and has become a regular for Germany, battling for a starting spot with Lukas Podolski.

Ballack, who won 98 caps for Germany and led them to the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2008 finals, played for clubs including Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen and Kaiserslautern.

Some 50,000 fans filled the stadium to see him play against former colleagues, including Didier Drogba, Michael Essien and Torsten Frings.

Ballack, who started his career at Chemnitzer FC, won a string of domestic club trophies in Germany and England but failed to claim a major European or world title despite coming close on several occasions.

A proposed final Germany appearance last year was rejected by Ballack who was angry with federation officials and coach Joachim Loew because of the way his international career ended after injury ruled him out of the 2010 World Cup.

Image: Michael Ballack

Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

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