Germany news

Kiessling backs Ballack

Striker supports club colleague over captaincy

Stefan Kiessling has sided with his Bayer Leverkusen team-mate Michael Ballack in the debate over who should be the future captain of Germany.

Ballack was skipper for six years until an ankle injury ruled him out of the World Cup. Philipp took over the role for the duration of the tournament and has since expressed his desire to carry on as captain in he build-up to Euro 2012.

However, Ballack has also stated he expects to return to the national team as captain once he has fully recovered from injury and Kiessling has given him his backing.

"For me, Michael Ballack is the captain,'' said Kiessling in Sport Bild magazine. "He was only injured and that is the only reason why he could not play (at the World Cup). He is a top player due to his experience and with his presence on the field.''

Kiessling is looking forward to playing together with Ballack both for club and country and believes Leverkusen can challenge for honours with the former Bayern Munich and Chelsea midfielder.

"We are one of the best and most technically gifted sides in the Bundesliga,'' he added.

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