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Ballack Defends Recent Criticism of Coach Loew

Just four weeks after his public quarrel with Germany coach Joachim Loew, the German captain Michael Ballack has said he was right to criticize the national coach in a newspaper interview.

Pictures of Joachim Loew and Michael Ballack

Ballack again defends his critisism of Loew

"Sometimes you want to go public with things, in an even manner, to wake and shake things up a little," Ballack told German pay-TV network Premiere ahead of the European champions League match of his club Chelsea at Girondins Bordeaux on Wednesday, Nov. 26.

"I was criticized from many sides when I went public," he said. "There was actually very little criticism in what I said, but sometimes you have to make a few critical tones in public."

"Lack of Respect"

Michael Ballack stands next to Joachim Loew on sidelines

Ballack has questioned Loew's personnel decisions

Thirty-two-year-old Ballack had attacked Loew last month after veteran fellow-midfielder Torsten Frings was benched for two World Cup qualifiers. The captain questioned Loew's selection criteria and said he lacked respect for long-time Germany players.

Ballack's criticism of Loew led to tension between the two and Ballack had to fly to Germany from London for a few hours last month to personally explain his comments and apologize to Loew. Loew accepted the apology and retained the Chelsea midfielder as his captain.

Frings later also had a private meeting with Loew to clear the air.

Ballack now says last month's comments in the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) were misinterpreted. He had said, "experienced national players deserve at least some respect and loyalty."

Loew has yet to comment

Close-up of Joachim Loew and Michael Ballack at a press conference

Loew has yet to respond to Ballacks latest comments

Loew has said he was angered by Ballack's comments in FAZ and on the eve of the England friendly in Berlin, reminded the entire Germany squad of their code of conduct which stresses the need to address any complaints behind closed doors.

"These things are now eliminated and have been checked off," said Loew in Berlin last week. "I am sure that such a thing will never happen again."

But Ballack's new comments do not imply the issue is as resolved as Loew would like. Loew has so far declined to comment on the new comments from his captain.

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