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Tuesday, 9 April, 2002, 14:20 GMT 15:20 UK

Michael Ballack

Club: Bayer Leverkusen
Position: Midfielder

Michael Ballack has become one of the most influential players in the German team.

His three goals in the two play-off legs against Ukraine were crucial in securing his side's place at the World Cup.

And at the tournament proper his goals against the USA at the quarter-finals and South Korea in the last four helped his team into the last four.

However, Ballack himself missed the final through suspension - a cruel end for one of the tournament's star attractions.

He is a strong runner and has an ability to play with both feet, meaning he can fit in anywhere across the midfield.

In the past he has been criticised for being too nonchalant but he has now started to add some steel to his game.

He has Champions League experience with Leverkusen and has secured a transfer to Bayern Munich for next season.


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