Bayer Neverkusen, deja vu and Michael Ballack


 

From the Guardian:

 

 

Michael Ballack already has a quadruple to his name. The German’s version, though, is laden with remorse. ………

“It was the darkest period of my career,” said the midfielder, reflecting on the whirlwind finale to the Bundesliga season, when his Bayer Leverkusen team went down in history as Bayer Neverkusen. Five points clear at the top of the table with three games left, they contrived to lose the first two, surrendering the initiative to Borussia Dortmund. Victory on the final day could not undo the damage; Dortmund also won to take the title.

If that shattered Ballack, then more was on the way. Leverkusen lost the German cup final to Schalke and then the Champions League final to Real Madrid at Hampden Park, in a match made memorable by Zinedine Zidane’s volley.

The biggest blow was reserved for the summer. Having driven Germany to the semi-final of the World Cup, Ballack scored the only goal of the game against South Korea to set up a final with Brazil. Yet he also received a yellow card that would see him suspended for the biggest game of his life. Brazil won 2-0 to take the trophy.

 

This year, Michael Ballack’s Chelsea has had a loss in a tournament final already, that in the final of the Mickey Mouse cup….. And a league final, thanks to the benevolence / incompetence of Steve Bennett.

 

Well, here’s my take. I am gunning for Chelsea to win the Champion’s League, and Germany to win the Euro ’08.

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5 thoughts on “Bayer Neverkusen, deja vu and Michael Ballack

  1. Ballack may be seeking redemption for that nightmarish end to 01-02 but as illogical as it may sound, I think Man(ure) Utd are carrying more momentum into CL final. It may be true that Ronaldo will have the big-stage fright again but I think the key will be the experience of Scholes and Giggs. However, if it goes to penalties, Chelsea have the edge. Van der Sar is clearly playing from memory and Chelsea have the better penalty takers (Lampard, Ballack, Drogba) against MU (only Rooney seems confident enough to score from every spotkick).

  2. Chelsea is tougher. ManUre’s defence is spluttering. Yes, if Cron has a great game / or Rooney, ManUre will win.
    But I see only two outcomes
    1. ManUre thumps Chelsea by 3-1 or something…
    2. Chelsea wins ugly, by 1-0 or by 2-1. Or in the tiebreakers (where Cron will miss, and Scholes will miss. Hargreaves will score, Rooney will score and Ferdinand will score. Terry will miss, Ballack, Drogba, Flump and Makelele/Shevchenko will score… It will be nice if Sheva scores the last penalty, will be nice retribution for him too)

  3. WE WON!!!!! WE WON!!!! WE WON!!!! WE WON!!!!

    CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE!!!!!!! CHAMPIONS!!!! CHAMPIONS OF CHAMPIONS!!!!

  4. Pingback: History revisited? « Sporting thoughts and otherwise …

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