Former Chelsea, Bayern star Ballack calls time on career
Michael Ballack has announced his retirement from football after a 17-year professional career.
The 36-year old former Germany captain came out of contract in June after departing Bayer Leverkusen and was believed to be holding talks with clubs in America and Australia but has since decided to call it quits.
"At the age of 36, I can look back on a long and wonderful time in professional football," he said.
"As a child, I could never have even dreamt of having such a career.
"It was a privilege working with first-class coaches and fantastic teammates. Of course I am going to miss running out in front of 80,000 spectators or scoring goals.
"The last few months without playing football have shown me that the time had come to give it up.
"I am now looking forward to the next chapter in my life and would like to thank my family and all the amazing people who have supported me, pushed me and accompanied me.
"They have made a major contribution to my success."
Ballack kicked off his career with Chemnitzer in 1995 before spending time with Kaiserslautern, his first stint with Leverkusen, Bayern Munich and Chelsea. He won four Bundesliga titles (1 with Kaiserslautern and 3 with Bayern), three German Cups with Bayern, one Premier League title with Chelsea as well as three FA Cups and represented Germany on 98 occasions.