Michael Ballack: The Nearly Man of German Football

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Michael Ballack: The Nearly Man of German Football

For the second World Cup in a row, Germany have come up short and been knocked out in the semifinals.

The pain of coming so close will be keenly felt by this young squad, but for one man watching on the sidelines the bitter taste of defeat is all too familiar.

For advice on how to get over such a disappointment, many of Germany's youngsters would do well to talk to Michael Ballack, who was forced out of the tournament through injury.

It is the latest in a long line of disappointments he has had to endure throughout his career.

Hardly ever has the term "so near and yet so far" befitted a player so well.

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