Ballack signs a three-year deal with Chelsea
15 May 2006, LONDON - Germany captain Michael Ballack signed a three-year deal with Chelsea on Monday, the newly crowned English champions confirmed at a press conference.
15 May 2006
LONDON - Germany captain Michael Ballack signed a three-year deal with Chelsea on Monday, the newly crowned English champions confirmed at a press conference.
The 29-year-old midfielder, whose contract with Bayern Munich runs out on June 30, will move to London on a free transfer.
"I am very happy to be here," Ballack said. "They (Chelsea) are very friendly people and London is a nice city.
"It is very special and I have good impressions."
Ballack, considered one of the best midfielders in the world, said he had taken advice from some of his countrymen before deciding to move.
"I asked some players about England - Robert Huth, Jens Lehmann - and they told me good things about this country and I am happy to be here."
Chelsea managed Jose Mourinho said Ballack would be a great addition to his squad, which clinched back-to-back Premiership titles.
But the manager said his arrival could inspire Frank Lampard, rather than have an adverse effect on the England man's performance.
"How can Michael's arrival affect Lampard and the team?" Mourinho asked.
"It will affect it a lot because Lampard wants top players to play with him and the team want good players to improve the team.
"I look forward to working with them and look forward to playing both together."
Chelsea have been linked with a move for AC Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko and Mourinho said more players would be joining the club.
"Is he (Ballack) the first of many? No," he said. "He is the first of a few because we don't need a lot of players, just two or three very good players.
"We have now been champions for two consecutive years and we want to be more than that.
"We have already the team, now we need two or three world-class players to join the special team we have to make it even better than that."
Ballack, who will lead Germany at this summer's World Cup finals, finished his Bayern career on a high as his side sealed a second consecutive league and cup double.
Subject: German news