Up Front with Michael Ballack: England have all it takes for big Euros showing

Up Front with Michael Ballack: England have all it takes for big Euros showing

Former Chelsea and Germany midfielder Michael Ballack has told William Hill’s podcast, Up Front with Simon Jordan, that he believes England have all the qualities required for a big showing at the Euros this summer.

Featuring on William Hill’s Up Front with Simon Jordan, a podcast hosted by the former Crystal Palace owner who speaks to sports stars and celebrities and challenges their opinions whilst scrutinising their careers, Ballack said: “England have the right mixture of talented players and hard-working players. You need players who can make the difference, they have them. But England also have players who can work their socks off, and you need those players – they have the right balance in the team.

“England can play any system; they can play attacking football. Now, they can even play possession football which England teams in the past have always had problems with. They can play any style of football. That means they’ve adapted their style of play and educated their young players in different ways, and England have the quality of players to do that. That’s the secret. Simple as that.”


I don’t fancy Germany to land home Euros

Germany may be hosting this summer’s Euros, but Ballack is not confident in his nation’s chances of lifting the trophy for the first time since 1996. 

“The expectation level in Germany is very low, the expectations are not high,” said Ballack. “Germany have lost something. We’ve lost something that was one of our biggest strengths, our competitiveness, discipline and the willingness to win games, it doesn’t matter how. We were not always the best team playing the best football technically, but we had this certain mentality combined with technique, organisation and discipline. We’ve lost that a bit.

“It’s the mentality of a whole nation. We’ve changed the whole education. It’s not just in football, it’s a generational problem. The way we talk to each other, the way we talk in professional football. I don’t know if we’ve become too soft, but we’ve lost strength.”

When asked about the prospect of Germany facing old foes England at the Euros this summer, Ballack added:

“There’s a certain level of competitiveness between England and Germany. There’s always something special about playing against England. Of course, you never want to lose against England.”


Xabi Alonso would suit both Liverpool and Bayern Munich, but why not build something at Bayer Leverkusen?

Xabi Alonso has taken the Bundesliga by storm with Bayer Leverkusen this season, attracting praise from Ballack and interest from some of the biggest clubs in Europe. Now committed to Bayer Leverkusen until the end of the 2024/25 season, Ballack believes Alonso has made the right call despite strong links to the Liverpool and Bayern Munich top jobs.

“Alonso has the natural acceptance from his players as a former world class player. You know you have this respect from the players which you cannot ask for if you’re a ‘normal’ coach, but this doesn’t mean you’re a great coach. He has the character, the voice, the attitude, the personality and he knows how to win. He brings a lot of things together that are combined in a very good and balanced way.'

“I think he’d fit both Bayern Munich and Liverpool. For me, the timing is the question. Stepping into Jurgen Klopp’s footprints at Liverpool at this time is not the easiest move. This would be a big, big move. I don’t think he’s scared. Bayern Munich is also a big challenge because there’s another level of expectation compared to Bayer Leverkusen. But it would be good timing to go there because they mightn’t have won something by the summer, which is rare.'

“But why should he not stay another year at Bayer Leverkusen, enjoying the position he’s already built? He is respected. Everyone is behind him at the club. Why don’t you build something at Bayer Leverkusen?”

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04 Apr 2024



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