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Sports & Off The Pitch
Mar 7 2013 2:53PM
 
Ballack invites Germany coach Loew to farewell game
Former Germany captain Michael Ballack. Getty images
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Former Germany captain Michael Ballack is inviting national team coach Joachim Loew and captain Philipp Lahm to his farewell game in Leipzig in June.
  
Ballack had been upset over how his international career ended but struck a conciliatory note in Leipzig Thursday in inviting both  to the June 5 game between "Ballack and Friends" against an international XI.
  
Ballack's relationship with Loew and the German football federation had turned sour after he had been dropped from the national team.
  
The 36-year-old former Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Bayer Leverkusen midfielder, who retired from the game in October, also turned down the offer by Loew of a farewell game in an international friendly against Brazil.
  
But Ballack, who scored 42 goals in 98 games for Germany, said he and Loew had had "a really good time" together during his international career.
  
"Of course, he will be invited despite the not quite optimal end," Ballack said.
  
Former team-mate Lahm, who had made it clear at the end of the 2010 World Cup he wanted to retain the captaincy of the national team he held during the tournament while Ballack was injured, will also receive an invitation.
  
"He is a player with whom I played a long time together. It's then up to him whether he comes or not," Ballack said. - Sapa-dpa

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