|Capital:||€ 27 million|
|Country of origin:||Germany (former GDR)|
|Source of wealth:||Soccer player|
Michael Ballack was active as a professional footballer for over 17 years. During this time he played for Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich and FC Chelsea. For a long time he was captain of the German national team and took part in two World Cups and three European Championships. After his career, he acted as a TV expert for various channels.
Michael Ballack was born near Görlitz in the former GDR. At the age of seven he started playing football at BSG Motor “Fritz Heckert” Karl-Marx-Stadt. The local trainer Steffen Hänisch quickly noticed the technical skills of the youngster. Ballack played his first game in the junior division on October 4, 1983. In his first season he managed to score twelve goals. Ballack quickly developed leadership skills within his youth teams. In 1988 he moved to FC Karl-Marx-Stadt and won the district indoor championship, the Saxon indoor championship and finally the Saxon U-19 championship over the years.
Michael Ballack received his first professional contract in 1995 with the same club, which had meanwhile renamed Chemnitzer FC. In 1995 he made his debut in the 2nd Bundesliga and a year later was appointed to the squad of the German U-21 national team. After he had relegated to the Regionalliga Nordost with Chemnitzer FC and missed the return the following year, he was signed by 1. FC Kaiserslautern in 1997. There Ballack developed into a regular player.
In 1999 he was accepted into the squad of the German senior team and moved to Bayer Leverkusen in the same year. In the following years he took on the role of the central playmaker in Leverkusen. As part of the qualification for the 2002 World Cup, he also developed into an important leading player in the national team. In 2002 Ballack moved to Bayern Munich for a sum of six million euros, where he received 8 million euros a year. He shaped a successful phase at Bayern, but was allegedly hostile by the fans and club bosses due to alleged lack of loyalty to the club.
In 2006 Ballack, who had meanwhile become the captain of the German national team under Klinsmann, decided to switch to Chelsea. He was one of the top earners in the Premier League with a salary of EUR 134,000 a week. With an estimated net worth of EUR 22 million at the time, in 2009 he was eighth among the richest football professionals in England. According to a study by Thomson Media Control, Ballack was the most popular and top-selling advertising ambassador of all active German players at the time. With Chelsea he won various trophies and in 2010 the English championship. His time at Chelsea and the national team was to come to an end in 2010. Ballack injured his inner ligament and ankle as a result of a foul by Kevin-Prince Boateng, causing him to miss the 2010 World Cup.
After Ballack was thrown back in the same year by a second injury, national coach Jogi Löw informed him in a conversation on June 16, 2011 that he would no longer be considered in the squad planning. From 2010 to 2012 Michael Ballack returned to Bayer Leverkusen. The contract expired in 2012 in agreement with the club. Ballack ended his active football career on October 2, 2012. After he had previously rejected a farewell game with the national team due to personal differences, in March 2013 he invited Joachim Löw and Phillip Lahm to an independently organized farewell game in Leipzig. In September of the same year, it was officially adopted and honored by the DFB.
After his career, Ballack acted as an advertising medium for various companies such as Adidas, Samsung and Pepsi. Between 2012 and 2016 he worked as a football expert for ESPN.
Ballack won his first German championship in 1998 with 1. FC Kaiserslautern. After having helped Leverkusen miss the championship title with an own goal in the last game in 2000, he won the double with Munich in 2003, 2005 and 2006. During this time, he was named Germany’s Footballer of the Year three times. A number of other titles followed at Chelsea FC. With the German national team, Ballack became Vice World Champion in 2002. Germany came in third place in 2006 and came second again at the 2008 European Championship. Ballack was elected to the All-Star team in four successive tournaments from 2002 to 2008.
“In fact, I’m a very easy-care guy.”
“I don’t have rituals. Except for the things you always do the same. ”
“I see it the same way, just the other way round.”
Michael Ballack emphasized the importance of developing mechanisms to deal with stress and the pressure to succeed. In his view, detailed preparation for all kinds of problems is one of the keys to successfully dealing with pressure during an important game.
At the same time, a successful leader must be willing to take responsibility and face problems at all times.