Michael Ballack has finally shown his star power, and deserves to be known as one of the finest midfielders in all of Europe. After a remarkable season for English giant Chelsea, Ballack has been all but impressive in Germany's Euro 2008 test matches.
If Germany is to make the championship round, it will be the captain Ballack to lead them there. In their last game before Euro 2008 begins, Germany overcame a sluggish start to sack Serbia 2-1.
Serbia got on the board first with a lightning quick goal from striker Bosko Jankovic, on very poor defense from the Germans.
However, one must have known that the Germans had a comeback in them.
Substitute Oliver Neuville tapped in a goal on a beautiful pass from Marcell Jansen. That goal was followed just nine minutes later by a free kick beauty from Ballack.
Ballack is a special player, and has been for years. But after being partially injured for the better part of the 2006 World Cup, Euro 2008 may be his best chance to show off his talent.
I think there is definitely a chance for Germany to take the Euro 2008 crown. For one, Ballack has the same core supporting cast that led Germany to a third place finish in 2006 at the World Cup. Secondly, Joachim Loew is a coach who likes to dictate his offense through the midfield, namely Ballack.
There are also several reasons that do not directly concern Ballack, but will certainly affect his play. Yeah, I am aware that most countries in Europe are close enough to one another that fans will travel, but Germany abuts both Austria and Switzerland, where the tournament will take place.
Although Austria is in Germany’s group, they may be the weakest team in the entire Euro 2008.
Connected to that thought, Ballack leads a German squad that doesn’t see any real imminent danger. They have one of the easiest groups in recent history: Austria, Poland, and Croatia. That bodes well for “Die Mannschaft,” because if they can get past the group stage, things are looking up.
Group C of this year’s Euro 2008 is just unfair. It houses three of the best teams in the world in France, Italy, and the Netherlands. This may be another reason why the Germans have a prime chance at claiming the crown: all three of these teams will be exhausted by the time they reach the Germans.
Sure, they didn’t look impressive in their victory over Serbia, but according to dfb.de, Ballack led a halftime full of fire. He wanted his defense to play with more attitude and aggressiveness, and they came out in the second half and did just that.
They executed their offense to near perfect, outside of a should-have-been goal by Mario Gomez. All in all, when June 7th rolls around, Ballack will make sure that the Germans will be ready to take the title as Europe’s best.