Monday, November 29, 1999

Germany captain Ballack limps off in FA Cup final

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Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack limped off in the first half of Saturday's FA Cup final against Portsmouth at Wembley Stadium leaving Germany coach Joachim Loew with an anxious wait on his captain's fitness.Ballack, who is out of contract at the west London club at the end of the season and could have been making his last appearance for the Premier League champions, took a heavy knock on his ankle after a late tackle by Kevin-Prince Boateng.The 33-year-old Ballack, who has 98 international caps, has already been named in Germany's preliminary squad for the World Cup finals in South Africa which start on June 11.The visibly distressed Ballack was replaced by Brazilian Juliano Belletti after 44 minutes with the score at 0-0.Germany will face Australia, Serbia and Ghana in Group D at the World Cup finals.(Reporting by Neil Maidment; Editing by Ken FerrisTo query or comment on this story email
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