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Germany

Bayern: Ballack Not For Sale

Bayern Munich vice-president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said German international playmaker Michael Ballack will not be sold to Spanish giants Real Madrid or any other club. Ballack, 27, is contracted with the German champions until 2006 but club officials are confident of extending his stay in Munich. "(Real) Madrid have not made an offer and we are not thinking of selling Michael (Ballack)," Rummenigge told Kicker magazine. "We want to extend his contract beyond 2006."There are not three clubs in Europe that are interesting for him so we have a good chance of reaching an agreement." Ballack was recently labelled 'mediocre' by Brazilian great Pele but Bayern are happy with the German international captain who has scored 13 goals this season. "Michael had a great season and scored a lot of important goals," added Rummenigge. "He is not a typical playmaker but he scores more goals than most." Ballack cost Bayern 12 million euros ($14.9 million) from Bundesliga rivals Bayer Leverkusen in 2002 after inspiring the unfashionable club to the Champions League final.

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