Germany captain Michael Ballack has been forced out of the World Cup finals due to an ankle injury which has sidelined him for two months, the German football federation (DFB) said Monday.
Chelsea forward Ballack was told he could play no part in the 11 finals after a scan revealed the severity of an ankle injury suffered in the FA Cup final win over Portsmouth on Saturday.
“It's hard to accept, of course I'm disappointed,” said Ballack, who had travelled to Sicily for one of Germany's pre-World Cup training camps.
Germany coach Joachim Loew said: “We're going to work to find a good solution.”
Ballack limped out of the FA Cup win after a heavy tackle and was left sweating over his WC chances despite X-ray scans revealing no broken bones. Prevented from undergoing a scan on Sunday due to heavy swelling, one on Monday showed a a partially torn ligament and an eight-week layoff.
French squad named for the finals
Paris: France coach Raymond Domenech on Monday announced his World Cup squad from which only one player, likely to be a defender, will be omitted in the coming days.
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda, Cedric Carrasso. Defenders: William Gallas, Eric Abidal, Bacary Sagna, Patrice Evra, Gael Clichy, Marc Planus, Anthony Reveillere, Sebastien Squillaci. Midfielders: Abou Diaby, Alou Diarra, Lassana Diarra, Yoann Gourcuff, Florent Malouda, Jeremy Toulalan. Strikers: Nicolas Anelka , Djibril Cisse, Andre-Pierre Gignac, Sidney Govou, Thierry Henry, Franck Ribery, Mathieu Valbuena.