Monday, June 30, 2008

Ballack May Miss Euro 2008 final
Germany captain Michael Ballack May miss European Championship final due to calf injury
By NESHA Starcevic AP Sports Writer
VIENNA, Austria 28th June 2008 (AP)
Germany captain Michael Ballack missed his team the final practice Saturday because of a calf injury, putting him in doubt for Sunday's European Championship final against Spain.
Germany's Michael Ballack is leaving the team bus on the arrival of the national football team from Germany ... Enhance
Germany's Michael Ballack is leaving the team bus on the arrival of the national football team from Germany in Vienna, Saturday, 28 June 2008. Germany faces Spain in the finals at Euro 2008 European football championship in Austria and Switzerland. (AP Photo / Frank Augstein) Collapse

The German Football Association said Ballack injured his right calf Friday and not train on that day either, and he adds that he received treatment in the team hotel. No other details were immediately available on Friday of the practice was not open to the media.

"We have to see how it develops overnight," Germany coach Joachim Loew said. "They work around the clock on him.

"It was inconceivable that he would have to train today."

The 31-year-old Chelsea midfielder, a key factor in Germany reached the final, missed at the 2002 World Cup title game because of a suspension. Brazil beat Germany 2-0 for the championship.

He also missed the opening match of the FIFA World Cup 2006 because of a calf injury.

Ballack, either, and finally orchestrate the attacks his team has achieved two goals in five games at the European Championships 2008. He met a blistering free-kick against Austria in a first round match, and headed in the winning goal in the quarter-finals 3-2 victory over Portugal.

Germany flew to the Austrian capital earlier Saturday from its base in southern Switzerland. The association did not release any information about Ballack-injury, he did not show up until the last training before the final.

Ballack absence would be a serious blow to German hopes of lifting a record fourth European title. Ballack was also looking for his first major title - of course, it would be if his team beat Spain without him.

Spain is also missing a key player, David Villa forward.

Loew revealed little about his possible starting lineup during the practice session. Loew was expected to the same group, beat Portugal in the quarter-finals and then to Turkey semi-finals, with the exception of midfielder Torsten Frings return as a successor by Simon Rolfes. But when Ballack is unable to play Loew Cabinet reshuffle his team could be in more possibilities.

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