Bayer Leverkusen laments Ballack 'failure'
LEVERKUSEN, Germany (AP) -Former Germany captain Michael Ballack has failed to live up to expectations since returning to Bayer Leverkusen from Chelsea in 2010, according to the club's managing director.
"We believed we had the potential to move forward with his personality, with his aura. That has not been realized,'' Wolfgang Holzhaeuser told the dapd news agency on Friday.
Holzhaeuser told the Cologne Express newspaper that more was expected from Ballack and that he should consider whether he had always acted "with the interest of the club in mind.''
Holzhaeuser said he and Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voeller had spoken with Ballack, "unfortunately without success.''
"Everything is OK for the moment,'' Holzhaeuser said. "He's disappointed, but it's about the team winning and not about individual stories.''
Ballack's contract with the Bundesliga club expires after the season. The 35-year-old Ballack had indicated that he did not expect to renew it, but play for another one or two years "at a high level'' elsewhere.
"We've already said that the contract probably won't be renewed,'' Holzhaeuser said. "He still has three months left. We will conduct that professionally.''
Leverkusen hosts Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League on Feb. 14.