After being ruled out of the 2010 World Cup due to an ankle injury, Michael Ballack’s national team-mates thanked Kevin-Prince Boateng, the man guilty of causing the damage, he has alleged.
The AC Milan star has revealed all in his autobiography, and explains in detail the history that he had with Ballack and what occurred in the immediate aftermath of their clash in the 2010 FA Cup final.
While the majority of those concerned bemoaned the influential midfielder’s absence in South Africa, Boateng has insisted that he received positive messages from some German national players.
“During the match, Ballack gave me a slap,” he recalls in his book, as revealed in Bild. “The referee, Chris Foy, didn’t see it. In the days that followed, many people said that my challenge was premeditated with a view of making sure he missed the World Cup. They’re just stupid and those who have never played football.
“In almost every game there are clashes of that nature. You’re not thinking about the World Cup in those situations. He left the pitch, I received a yellow card. For me, the story was over there.”
However, Boateng goes on to reveal that that wasn’t the first time that the pair had crossed paths, and recalled another meeting during their days in the Bundesliga.
“I was 18 when I confronted him for the first time,” he continued. “During our first meeting in the Bundesliga [Ballack was at Bayern Munich, Boateng with Hertha Berlin], we had a confrontation. Michael stepped on my foot and said, ‘shut up, who do you think you are?’. I answered: ‘Who do you think you are?’. ‘I’m a star’, he replied. ‘Even the stars fall’, I told him.
“The ironic thing about this whole story, is that some of the German national team players thanked me. Within the team he wasn’t well liked. No one was happy that he missed the World Cup, I was one of them, but some thought that without him they would have played even better.”
Boateng adds that he received death threats and was made a villain by the general public after the altercation, but insisted that despite Ballack suggesting otherwise, he immediately apologised to the former Germany captain on the field following the challenge.
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