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Page last updated at 11:38 GMT, Wednesday, 19 May 2010 12:38 UK

Michael Ballack says his Germany career will continue

Michael Ballack and Germany team coach Joachim Low
Ballack (left) is consoled by Germany team coach Joachim Low

Germany captain Michael Ballack insists he will play international football again despite being forced to miss the World Cup with an ankle injury.

The Chelsea midfielder was injured in the FA Cup final in a tackle from Portsmouth's Kevin-Prince Boateng, who has apologised for the incident.

"I won't let my international career come to an end because of a foul like this," the 33-year-old Ballack said.

"I will consider things in calm over the next few weeks."

Ballack, who has made 98 appearances for his country and played in the last two World Cups, has to overcome two damaged ligaments and is expected to resume training in eight weeks.

With Germany's first match on 13 June, the Chelsea star now has to come to terms with watching the World Cup finals from the sidelines.

"I gave everything for the goal of South Africa and now the World Cup has been taken away from me in a brutal way," added Ballack.

"It is bitter to be hacked down in such a way in the last game of the season. It hurts."

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Ballack limped out of the FA Cup final on Saturday - a game that Chelsea won 1-0 - after 25 minutes following the rash challenge by Boateng, who was born in Berlin to a Ghanaian father and a German mother.

The Pompey midfielder, who could be in the Ghana side to face Germany in Group D in South Africa, insisted on Tuesday his tackle had not been intentional and he was sorry.

"I just came in too late and made full contact," he told Sport Bild online. "It looks pretty stupid."

German fans have vented their anger on dozens of websites, calling Boateng 'public enemy number one' and setting up chat rooms called '82 million against Boateng' or 'Anti-Boateng Group'.

Boateng's half-brother Jerome is in the preliminary Germany squad for the tournament which takes place between 11 June and 11 July.

Meanwhile, Ballack has still got his domestic career to be resolved as his contract with Chelsea is set to expire at the end of June.

He is optimistic a deal with the Premier League champions can be reached and Ballack told Germany's Bild newspaper: "Chelsea are absolutely my first option.

"We are in contact with the club. The coach first of all wants to discuss things internally and then he will approach the players in a week."

Ballack impressed during the 2008 European Championships, when the Germans were eventually beaten 1-0 in the final by Spain, and was considered a key figure for them again this summer.

Germany kick off their World Cup campaign against Australia on 13 June before matches against Serbia on 18 June and Ghana on 23 June.



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see also
Boateng sorry for Ballack tackle
18 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Injured Ballack out of World Cup
17 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Beck dropped from Germany squad
01 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Chelsea 1-0 Portsmouth
15 May 10 |  FA Cup
Terry criticises FA over Wembley
15 May 10 |  FA Cup
FA Cup final as it happened
15 May 10 |  Football
FA Cup final photos
15 May 10 |  Football


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