Lothar Matthäus says Germany better without their original captain

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Lothar Matthäus says Germany better without their original captain

Lothar Matthäus was the captain of Germany back in 1990 when they won the World Cup. He was recently caught saying that the present German team is playing better without Michael Ballack on their side.

These comments come ahead of the match between Argentina and Germany, in the quarter finals of the FIFA 2010 World Cup. Ballack suffered an injury while featuring for Chelsea during their F.A Cup final match against Portsmouth.

Injury came as a result of a late tackle that was made on Ballack by the Ghanaian born German national Kevin Prince Boateng. A lot of controversy has followed the injury, as Michael Ballack has threatened time and again to sue Boateng, as the former German captain thinks that the player deliberately tried to injure him so that he will not feature in the World Cup campaign for Germany.

What might be a blessing in disguise for Germany, has not been positive for Michael Ballack himself. This summer so far has been terrible for Michael Ballack whose fall from grace has happened at an incredibly accelerated rate. His injury has firstly meant that he will most probably not play in another FIFA World Cup due to his age. The German midfielder is already 33 years old and will be 37 by the time FIFA World Cup takes place in 2014 in Brazil.

He has also had to leave the English Champions Chelsea, after they did not offer him a new contract. Ballack spent well over 3 weeks pondering the future of his football career and the finally decided to come back to his homeland, Germany to play for his former club Bayern Leverkusen who finished fourth in the tightly contested German league last year.

Lothar Matthäus tried to be sympathetic in his remarks about Michael Ballack as he said that he is disappointed that Ballack couldn’t play in the World Cup because of his injury but his absence has actually helped Germany.

He went on to elaborate that Ballack was holding up some positions in the squad that prevented young players from making their breakthrough into the senior squad. He also made it clear that he did not mean it in a spiteful way.

He said that because of Ballack’s absence, Germany’s young players have matured a lot and have taken on more responsibility. The German legend also said that Ballack used to take the ‘pace’ out of the German game and his approach might have been in conflict with the style that this German squad plays with.

Matthäus is actually right because this would not have been possible if Ballack was still featuring prominently for Germany. Germany’s young players are confident after dispatching off their European rivals by a score line of 4-1 in the quarter finals. One of the more senior players of the squad, Bastian Schweinsteiger, has been bold enough to criticize Argentina and their fans in the media.

He has publically stated that the Argentinean team players try  to influence the referee during matches and has also said that Argentinean fans try and sit together even if that means that other fans would lose the rightful seats allocated to them through tickets.

German coach Joachim Low has tried to defuse the tension which has come up after the war of words between Schweinsteiger and Maradona by stating that Bastian was just giving his ‘personal view’ and that Argentineans ‘are very accommodating people and great hosts’.

Mesut Ozil, Germany’s player of the tournament so far also came under the spotlight when Low compared him to Lionel Messi, the German manager said that Ozil has the capability to play “without fear” which the Argentineans will have to look out for. Low also spoke about Klose and said that he has an impressive international record of scoring once in every two matches he has played for Germany. He also said that Klose is still “ambitious and hungry”.

Maradona’s men will be looking to overcome the young German fervor and book themselves a place in the semi-finals of the tournament. While the Germans will be looking to record an appearance in second consecutive semi-finals at the FIFA World Cup after playing against Italy in the semi-finals of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.



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