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.