Chelsea and Bayern Munich legend Michael Ballack has been named on the list of the best 20 midfielders in the history of the German Bundesliga. The 44-year-old German football icon was part of the list of the best midfielders compiled by football outlet Bleacher Report.

The criteria used in selecting the top 20 midfield players in the history of the German topflight include the number of goals scored, titles won for club and country. Special importance was attached to the goals scored leading to title success either at club level or country level.

Michael Ballack played in the German Bundesliga for three teams namely Kaiserslautern, Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen. When he was at Bayern he became known as a powerhouse box-to-box midfielder who became a favourite of PowerPlay Site punters, with his great goals-to-games ratio making him a good bet (at good odds) to be an anytime goalscorer.

He has been named on the list alongside Juan Arango, Krasimir Balakov, Stefan Effenberg, Ze Roberto, Olaf Thon, Thomas Haessler, Jeurgen Grabowski, Arjen Robben, Herbert Wimmer, Felix Magath, Franck Ribery and Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Other midfielders on the list are Mehmet Scholl, Andreas Moller, Bernd Schuster, ex-Newcastle United manager Kevin Keegan, Guenter Netzer, Wolfgang Overrath and Lotthar Matthaeus.

Michael Ballack could be forgiven if he thinks that he was cursed during his football career after he missed some major games. He was key man for the German national team at the 2002 FIFA World Cup tournament in Japan and South Korea. He led his country all the way to the final before being suspended for that final. Without him, Brazil beat Germany 2-0 through a brace from striker Ronaldo.

Ballack was also suspended for the 2007/08 Champions League final at the Luzhnicki Stadium in Moscow, Russia as his Chelsea team lost to Premier League rivals Manchester United on penalties. The German also missed the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament in South Africa as the national team captain after he sustained a serious injury in the final club game of the season.

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