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Was Kevin-Prince Boateng's Tackle on Michael Ballack Deliberate?

Andrew Jordan@@Andrew_JordanSenior Writer IMay 18, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 15:  Michael Ballack of Chelsea is tackled and fouled by Kevin Prince Boateng of Portsmouth during the FA Cup sponsored by E.ON Final match between Chelsea and Portsmouth at Wembley Stadium on May 15, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

With Monday's announcement that Michael Ballack will not be able to captain the German squad in the World Cup, Germany's chances in South Africa this summer have taken a real blow.

Ballack went down when Portsmouth's Kevin-Prince Boateng slid into the Chelsea midfielder and ruptured several ligaments in his ankle during Saturday's FA Cup final at London's Wembley Stadium.

As is usual in a situation such as this, there are two sides to the story, as Boateng and Ballack both have a long history together.

This history started back in 2006, when, according to Boateng's father, "Kevin had just scored his first goal for Hertha [Berlin]. Then they played against Bayern Munich. He had an argument with Ballack."

"Ballack said to him: 'You've scored one goal, and you think you are the best.' Kevin has never forgotten that. Unfortunately, Kevin isn't very diplomatic. But I am sure, even if he did foul Ballack, he didn't mean to injure him."

Even so, Boateng (who was born in Germany) has opted to move from the German National Team (for whom he had six appearances for the German Under 21 side from 2006 through 2007) to the land of his father: Ghana.

With this move, Boateng will now be joining a Ghana side that will play Germany on June 23 in a Group D match at Soccer City in Johannesburg.

However, things will get even stranger now, as Boateng's brother Jérôme could find himself on the German squad for this World Cup and could face his brother at Soccer City on June 23.

Now the real question asked by football fans across the world is this: Did Boateng deliberately injure Ballack?

Ballack's attorney Michael Becker believes so, and has been quoted as saying that this was a "pre-meditated attack" on his client.

No matter what, this incident will add an extra zest to that final match in Group D on June 23, as a matchup that was already going to determine who will advance from Group D will now mean a lot more for all of the countries involved.

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