Let’s set one thing straight – I’m not a Germany fan, but I’m a Michael Ballack fan.
He’s as professional as they come, he’s always looking to win (yes he dives sometimes), he’s got a smart footballing brain and he keeps his nose clean off the pitch. Minus the diving (if you don’t like it, with it if you’re ok with it), the man is a model professional and from the era of Keane and Vieira where midfielders were strong leaders who led in the dressing room and on the pitch.
He will be missed in football when he retires.
However, his attitude towards his national team coach and his behavior in this respect is out of order.
Ballack is the captain, he has the right as the appointed leader of men to talk through issues with the coach when necessary. The problems with Kuryani and Frings were meant to be dealt with internally, it’s nothing that can’t be handled with a simple one-on-one meeting. Maybe not during the match or right afterwards, but after the international round was over.
First Ballack chose to go through the media, and then he did what no self-respecting international captain should do – when asked about Low wanting to meet with Ballack, he told the press that “The German Football Association will have to arrange it with my employers Chelsea.”
This is childish behavior. Ballack is the captain. Low is the coach. Low should be able to pick the phone up and talk to Ballack, and vice versa. If Low hasn’t been open to discussions in the past he is now, so why not sort this out over the phone or in person (I’m sure it doesn’t take much of an effort for the two to meet) instead of thrashing it out like spoilt brats in the press?
I’m sure that Ballack is doing what he’s doing because he thinks it’s the right thing to do. Standing up for your teammates and friends definitely is. Arguing with your coach like a child through the press isn’t.
Grow up Ballack. Low may or may not be, but you’re better than this.