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Page last updated at 13:03 GMT, Friday, 25 June 2010 14:03 UK

Michael Ballack rejoins Bayer Leverkusen

Michael Ballackpictured while playing for Chelsea
Ballack has signed a two-year deal with Bayer Leverkusen

Ex-Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack has re-signed for former club Bayer Leverkusen on a two-year deal.

The 33-year-old German, who missed the World Cup because of an injury picked up in the FA Cup final, was released by Chelsea at the end of last season.

He reached the Champions League final with German side Leverkusen in 2002.

"With my transfer a circle is complete. I had a beautiful and successful time here, which I like to look back on a lot," Ballack told Bayer's website.

He added that although the history played a role in his decision to rejoin the club, it was not the only reason.

"What convinced me above all was the excellent footballing potential of this young and attractive team," he said.

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"I am especially looking forward to the great fans, who naturally have been key in my decision to return to Bayer."

Chelsea's decision to release Ballack, who has won 98 international caps, sparked a rush to sign the playmaker.

Three Bundesliga clubs - Hamburg, Bayer Leverkusen and Steve McClaren's Wolfsburg - reportedly showed interest in the powerful midfielder, along with Liverpool and Tottenham in the Premier League and at least one Spanish side.

He held talks with Real Madrid's new coach, Jose Mourinho, but negotiations broke down as the Spanish giants were reportedly too slow to make a concrete offer.

Both Hamburg and Wolfsburg offered Ballack more money, but he elected to go to his former club in what has been described in the German press as a "move from the heart".

Ballack played for Leverkusen between 1999 and 2002, scoring 27 goals before moving to Bayern Munich.

He spent four years at Bayern before signing for Chelsea in 2006, going on to make 167 appearances for the Londoners, scoring 27 times and last season helping them to a first title since 2006.



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see also
Leverkusen target Ballack return
16 Jun 10 |  Chelsea
Cole and Ballack to leave Chelsea
09 Jun 10 |  Chelsea
Germany career not over - Ballack
19 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Injured Ballack out of World Cup
17 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Ballack agrees new Chelsea deal
31 May 09 |  Chelsea
Chelsea announce Ballack capture
15 May 06 |  Chelsea


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