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Michael Ballack retires from football

The German midfielder has announced that he has brought his career to an end at the age of 36.

Johannes Simon - Bongarts/Getty Images

Michael Ballack has announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 36.

The three-time German Footballer of the Year, who clocked up 98 caps and 42 goals for Germany, has decided to end his playing career after finishing his spell with Bayer Leverkusen.

In a glittering career, Ballack started out at Chemnitzer FC before playing for Kaiserslautern, Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich, and Chelsea, before once again returning to Leverkusen for two seasons to end his playing days.

He will perhaps be best-remembered for his exploits in the German National team, despite missing out on Germany's run in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa due to injury.

Ballack will also surely go down as one of the greatest players never to have won the Champions League, after failing with Bayern Munich and reaching two finals, losing with Chelsea to Manchester United and being part of the 'Bayer Neverkusen' team that finished second in all three competitions.

Despite that, Ballack will be remembered as one of the greats in Germany and around the world. Since 2005, the German national team has never lost a game in which Michael Ballack has scored - a record that will now last forever.