Ballack in mix to join A-League newcomer
Fri September 21, 2012 11:09am
FORMER Germany captain Michael Ballack is in the mix to join A-League new boys Western Sydney Wanderers on a one-year deal.
Club management confirmed their interest in the 36-year-old legend of German football in announcing the well-travelled Michael Beauchamp as the club's inaugural captain.
The former Socceroo defender played his junior football in western Sydney and was a logical choice for coach Tony Popovic.
Should the club secure the signature of Ballack he would become the third marquee signing to join the league in a matter of days, following in the sprig marks of Italian superstar Alessandro Del Piero at Sydney FC and former England international Emile Heskey with the Newcastle Jets.
German sources are reporting Ballack, who captain Germany to the 2002 World Cup final, has turned down offers from clubs in the Middle East and the United States to link-up with the Wanderers.
“Michael is excited about the prospect of coming to a great city like Sydney and being a part of a new project,” the unnamed German source said.
“He will certainly be in Australia for the first game of the season (October 6).”
Ballack, who socred 42 goals in 98 appearances for his country, has just left Bayer Leverkusen after a two-year stint in the Bundesliga, following your years at Chelsea in the English Premier League.
He joined the west London club in mid-2006 to help the club lift the FA Cup and League double.
He missed the next season through injury, but he returned the following season playing a major part in the Blues' run to the Champions League final.
He also went on to win a second FA Cup medal in 2009, then capped off his time in England with a league and cup double in 2010.
Ballack's CV also includes spells at Kaiserslautern and a four year spell at Bayern Munich.