Wednesday, 3rd October, 2012
Michael Ballack has opted to retire from professional football.
The 36-year-old former Germany international has been without a club since parting ways with Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen at the end of last season.
"The last few months without playing football have shown me that the time had come to give it up", announced Ballack.
"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", he added.
Ballack enjoyed a hugely successful career and represented Germany at international level 98 times.
He broke through onto the world stage as part of the Leverkusen side which made the 2002 Champions League final.
Those heroics earned Ballack a move to Bayern Munich, where he realised his dream of winning the Bundesliga once again, having initially lifted the famous shield with Kaiserslautern.
Ballack joined Chelsea in 2006, adding the English Premier League to his collection of league titles.