Loew: Ballack baffled by Chelsea’s decision

COLOGNE: Michael Ballack does not understand his club Chelsea’s decision to axe him from their Champions League squad for the group stages, Germany’s head coach Joachim Loew revealed yesterday.

Ballack, 30, is hoping to return soon from April’s ankle surgery, but misses Germany’s Euro 2008 qualifier against Wales on Saturday, the friendly with Romania next Wednesday and has now been left out of Chelsea’s plans.

Having this week been axed from Chelsea’s Champions League squad for the autumn’s group stages, Germany’s captain is baffled, according to Loew, adding to rumours in the British press Ballack could be on the way out of Stamford Bridge.

“I discussed it with Michael and he could not fully explain Chelsea’s decision to me,” said Loew in a press conference yesterday ahead of Saturday’s Group D Euro 2008 qualifier.

“Chelsea’s doctors estimate he will not be able to play for two to three more months, but Michael is much more optimistic and expects to play sooner.

“For us, Chelsea’s decision isn’t justifiable,” added Loew who plans to recall Ballack for October’s Euro 2008 internationals with the Czech Republic and the Republic of Ireland. – AFP
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