skipper Michael Ballack has retired from football.
The Central midfielder, 36, through a statement from one of his lawyers, has confirmed that his football career is over
-At the age of 36, I can look back on a long and wonderful time in professional football which I would not have dared to dream about as a kid, said a statement carried on soccernet.espn.go.com
-It was a privilege working with top managers and fantastic players. I will certainly miss playing in front of 80,000 or scoring a goal. Recent months without playing professional football have, however, shown me that the time to end my career has come.
Short of hitting a Century
-I am looking forward to a new chapter in my life and thank my family and all the great people who have furthered, challenged, accompanied and supported me. They all have a great share in my success.
Ballack spent two seasons, from 2010, at German Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, a club he joined after spending four seasons with English Premier League side Chelsea.
Two caps short of hitting a Century of games for Germany, Ballack had been at club side Chemnitzer FC from 1983 when he was only eight years old.
After two seasons at Kaiserslautern, from 1997-99, he moved to Leverkusen where he spent three seasons before moving for to Bayern Munich for four seasons from 2002.
Ballack will look bad to an illustrious career that saw him win four Bundesliga titles; one with Kaiserslautern and three with Bayern Munich as well as an English Premier League title with Chelsea.
He also won six FA Cups; three a piece with Bayern Munich and with Chelsea.