Ballack maintains silence despite Leverkusen goal

29 September 2011 01:05

Ex-Germany captain Michael Ballack has maintained his silence with the media despite scoring for the first time in over six months for Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League.

Having turned 35 on Monday, Ballack came off the bench for Leverkusen on Wednesday and scored in the 91st minute with a powerful volley which gave the Genk goalkeeper no chance and sealed the 2-0 win over the Belgiums.

It was the ex-Chelsea star's first goal since he scored in a Europa League match for Leverkusen in February.

The win put Leverkusen second in Group E behind his former club Chelsea, but Ballack then snubbed the waiting media and slid out of a back door at the Leverkusen stadium.

Team-mate Andre Schuerrle, who is in the Germany squad, said the ex-national team captain made his experience count against Genk.

"He was very important in that situation for us. With his experience, he brings calm into our game and won plenty of balls for us," said Schuerrle.

Having last played for Germany in March 2010, back-to-back injuries ruled Ballack out of the World Cup and then hampered his return to the German league when he signed for Leverkusen in July 2010 after five years at Chelsea.

Ballack rarely gives interviews now here having been harshly treated by the German media as he struggled to regain form last season and has been ridiculed after being used mainly from the bench by Leverkusen coach Robin Dutt.

Ballack has started just three of Leverkusen's seven German league games so far this season, but his performance against Genk staked a claim for inclusion at home to Wolfsburg on Saturday in the Bundesliga.

Source: AFP