Michael BallackMichael Ballack (born September 26, 1976 in Görlitz, East Germany) is a German football player. He plays central midfield for Bayern Munich in the German Bundesliga as well as in the German national team, where he has taken over the role of captain since 2004. Ballack first played for Kaiserslautern and was transferred to Bayern Munich from Bayer Leverkusen on July 1, 2002. Ballack shined at the 2002 World Cup, when he scored three goals, including the lone goals in the quarterfinal win over the United States and, famously, in the semifinal win over South Korea.
Ballack is known for being a versatile and well-conditioned player, equally apt in offense and defense, being able to play almost any position in the midfield. He is regarded as one of the most lethal headers in the world. However, as of 2005, he is one of the prime German sports icons and the captain of the German national team that is seeking World Cup glory on its home soil.