Michael Ballack

"Michael Ballack"
Michael Ballack Biography – Early Career
His father being a soccer player himself (although not a famous one, as he spent most of his career in the German second division) it was only natural that young Michael take up on soccer and he did so at his local team, BSG Motor Karl-Marx-Stadt (Michael was born in a period full of political tensions in Germany and the name of his first team says it all).
Moving to Chemnitzer FC, Michael Ballack didn't have an early blast, such as other equally talented soccer players, as he signed his first professional contract at age 19.
His outstanding play as central midfielder for Chemnitzer FC however, earned him the nickname "Little Kaiser" from the team's fans, in reference to legendary German national team captain, Franz Beckenbauer, who was nicknamed "The Keiser", or the King.
However, playing in the second division wasn't exposing the talented player well enough and you probably wouldn’t be reading this Michael Ballack biography if it wasn't for Otto Rehhagel and his keen scout eye.
Otto was the coach of fellow second division champions, FC Kaiserslautern and as his team won promotion, he made it a priority to take Michael Ballack to the first stage with him, being impressed by the rival team's midfielder throughout the season.

Season Club Games Goals
1995/96 Chemnitzer FC 15 0
1996/97 Chemnitzer FC 34 10
1997/98 Kaiserslauten 17 8
Kaiserslautern 16 0
1998/99 Kaiserslautern 17(13) 4
1999/00 Bayer Leverkusen 22(1) 4
2000/01 Bayer Leverkusen 27 7
2001/02 Bayer Leverkusen 29 17
2002/03 Bayren Munchen 26 10
2003/04 Bayren Munchen 28 7
2004/05 Bayren Munchen 27 13
2005/06 Bayren Munchen 26 14
2006/07 Chelsea 23(3) 5
Michael Ballack Biography – FC Leverkusen
FC Kaiserslautern might not have been the kind of club that could make you a star over night, but it will weight heavily in any Michael Ballack biography as the team that brought the player in the eyes of the good world of soccer. After only 2 years spent at Kaiserslautern, he moved to Bayer Leverkusen, which was truly a cornerstone to his career bringing both good and bad memories.
The 3 seasons spent at Leverkusen meant a huge boost to his market value, as he pushed the team from a mid-table yearly status to a club that fought for the Bundesliga title. Finally having established his name in football, Michael Ballack was about to experience some cold, hard disappointments.
There is one moment that stains this perfect Michael Ballack biography and it occurred during his career's peak. In the 2001/2002, Bayer was in the run for all 3 trophies it was struggling for, the Champions League, the Cup and the Bundesliga title. Before the end of the season, with 1 match to play, Leverkusen was in the finals for Champions League, the German Cup and needed a simple draw against one of the poorest teams of the Bundesliga that year in order to win the title.
They lost the Champions League final against Valencia (2-1), the German Cup final against Shalke 04 (4 – 2) and lost 2-0 in their last league game against minnows Unterhaching, with a disastrous own goal from Ballack that threatened his future amongst the top soccer players of the World.


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