Ballack Starts in Euro Final | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 29.06.2008
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Ballack Starts in Euro Final

Germany captain Michael Ballack will start in the European Championship final against Spain despite a calf injury.


Germany captain Ballack is in the final

The 31-year-old Chelsea midfielder complained of pain in his right calf Friday and missed Germany's final two practice sessions before the June 29 final game.

Ballack, who has been a key factor in Germany reaching the final, missed out on the 2002 World Cup final because of a suspension. He also missed the opening game of the 2006 World Cup because of a similar injury on the same calf.

Torsten Frings, who had to sit out the Germany-Turkey game due to a broken rib, will also be starting for Germany.

The starting line up was announced an hour before Germany and Spain faced off in the final in Vienna.

Spain's Villa sits out

Spain coach Luis Aragones drafted Cesc Fabregas into the starting line-up in place of striker David Villa who has to sit out the match because of a thigh injury sustained in the 3-0 win over Russia in the semi-final.

Fernando Torres will play as a lone striker in a 4-1-4-1 formation with Fabregas joining Xavi, Andres Iniesta and David Silva in midfield and Marcos Senna occupying the holding role in front of the back four.

Germany: 1-Jens Lehmann; 3-Arne Friedrich, 17-Per Mertesacker, 21-Christoph Metzelder, 16-Philipp Lahm; 7-Bastian Schweinsteiger, 8-Torsten Frings, 13-Michael Ballack, 15-Thomas Hitzlsperger, 20-Lukas Podolski; 11-Miroslav Klose

Spain: 1-Iker Casillas; 15-Sergio Ramos, 5-Carles Puyol, 4-Carlos Marchena, 11-Joan Capdevila; 19-Marcos Senna; 6-Andres Iniesta, 8-Xavi, 10-Cesc Fabregas, 21-David Silva; 9-Fernando Torres.

Referee: Roberto Rosetti (Italy)

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