“I don’t want to comment on the issue,” Ballack told Wednesday’s edition of Luxembourg paper l’essentiel. Ballack, 33, is undergoing further rehabilitation on his ankle injury in Luxembourg after ending a visit of the German World Cup team in South Africa.
The 98-time capped Ballack is the Germany captain but has been sidelined because of the injury. The Bayern Munich right-back took over the captaincy for the tournament in South Africa and said in several newspaper interviews this week that he would not like to give up the role.
The statements, which coincided with Ballack’s unexpected departure from the team on Monday, sparked a debate on whether Ballack should be captain again, and whether he should return to the team at all.
Germany have played outstanding football without Ballack, including a stunning 4-0 victory over Argentina and a 4-1 drubbing of England at the World Cup. Former Germany captain Lothar Matthaeus is among those who has suggested Ballack should retire from the national team.
Neither coach Joachim Loew nor team manager Oliver Bierhoff have condemned Lahm’s statements, although Bierhoff named them “untimely” ahead of the semifinal with Spain set for later Wednesday.