The German bid for a 2010 World Cup championship has taken a massive hit as commanding midfield captain Michael Ballack will miss the finals after a scan revealed ligament damage in his ankle. Ballack picked up the injury in the FA Cup Final against Portsmouth following a reckless challenge from Ghanaian International Kevin-Prince Boateng.
“National team captain Michael Ballack is out of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. This is the result of an MRI on Monday morning in Munich,” read a statement from the German FA. “A tear of the medial collateral ligament of the right ankle was found. The right ankle is immobilised in a plaster. He will have to wear a special shoe for two weeks.
“After the diagnosis of national team doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt today, a complete healing of the injury is expected. Ballack’s return to training is possible at the earliest in eight weeks.”
The tackle which would eventually end Ballack’s World Cup dreams was the culmination of a host of rough challenges from the underdog Portsmouth side. Hugely outclassed on the field, Portsmouth attempted to impose their will on Chelsea making several hard tackles which could have been deemed yellow card worthy.