10/02/2012 02:30 pm ET

Michael Ballack Retires: Former Germany, Bayern Munich Star Officially Ends Soccer Career


Former Germany and Bayern Munich captain Michael Ballack has announced his retirement from the game at the age of 36.

The midfielder, who represented four different sides in the Champions League and appeared in 98 games for Die Mannschaft, has decided to end his career after he was released by Bayer Leverkusen earlier this year. He announced his decision via a news statement from his lawyer.

"At 36 years old I can look back on a long and wonderful time in professional football, which I could never have dreamed of as a child," Ballack said.

"It was a privilege to work with world-class coaches and fantastic players. Now I am looking forward to a new chapter in my life."

Ballack, who is largely considered one of Germany's greatest ever midfielders, retires from the game having never won an international tournament, and having lost two Champions League finals.

Nevertheless, the 36-year-old will look back fondly on the four Bundesliga titles, three DFB Pokals, one Premier League title, three FA Cups an a League Cup he won during his time with Kaiserslautern, Leverkusen, Bayern Munich and Chelsea amongst others.

Ballack was rumored to join Major League Soccer following his exit from Bayer Leverkusen, but he was unable to reach an agreement with the North American league. Philadelphia and Montreal had shown the most interest.

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