Michael Ballack, The Captain Charisma, has been the face of German football for quite a while now. Ever since WC 2002, one could feel German teams have been built around Michael Ballack. Now we are at touching distance with WC 2010 — The question one need to ask is does Deutschland really require Ballack’s services?
Ever since his move to Chelsea, Ballack has not been the force which we know him to be. Partially due to injury, but largely due to lack of form. Except for a brief period towards the end of last season and through the Euros — Ballack has not really been at his best.
When we look at the German setup, there is more than one option to replace Ballack — One could view Tim Borowski as a readymade option. He looks tremendous in a Bayern shirt and has deputized for Ballack brilliantly many a time for Germany. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Marko Marin are both capable of playing in the CAM role. Piotr Trochowski could be another name to consider. Podolski can also operate behind the strikers. Wish Seb Deisler was still around.
But the real question is – Is there another “Captain” in the Squad? Germany has been always blessed with characters in the side. Recent history would show the likes of Mathaues, Klinsmann and Kahn (Tempted to write Effenberg as well). But if anything the current squad lacks is a real driving force ( Except for Ballack). Miro Klose /Frings/Schneider/Metzelder all lack the charisma of Ballack. Lahm/Schweini could be the next option.
So IMO Germany would need Ballack as the motivator at the WC. There is plenty of talent to replace him as a player come Euro 2012. But the real challenge for the Bundestrainer would be to mould another charismatic leader.
So for now lets leave the No:13 as it is…