Written by Ron Baxter
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Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Lothar Matthäus, Germany's former World Cup-winning captain under all-time legend Franz Beckenbauer, has spoken for the first time about the problems between Jogi Löw and Michael Ballack.

The Germany national team captain and his manager are at crisis point in their relationship following Ballack's decision to go behind his countrymen's back and criticise him publicly. Upset about the position his close friend Thorsten Frings' was forced to adopt on the bench during the World Cup Qualifier against Wales, Ballack used a national newspaper to accuse Löw of abusing the respect of the older members of the team.

Löw, in his defence has intimated that such personal matters should remain private and was visibly deeply hurt by his confidant's decision not to speak with him about it first. However, in an effort to save the relationship from turning sour ahead of next month's qualifiers, an olive branch has been offered to Ballack as long as he flies to Germany to take up the option of relationship counselling mediated through the DFB (German Football Association).

Matthäus, 47, has been in this situation many times before with uncompromising former manager Franz Beckenbauer and knows the issues Germany's most favourite partnership in recent times are facing.

In a statement released to the press, he is quoted as saying, "It won't be easy - it is like a marriage when you discover that your partner has been seeing somebody else. Jogi has done nothing wrong. Now he and Ballack must try to build up trust again. Only time will tell if they can rediscover the chemistry in that fruitful partnership they once had".

Asked whether he was looking forward to fulfilling his new role at the DFB, tough-tackling former defender Matthäus replied that he was upbeat about the sessions and only too happy to serve the national team once again; "It's not often you get offered such an honourable opportunity - I am only too happy to help but God help them if they don't listen to me", said the former captain.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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