Ballack blasts Germany farewell offer

BERLIN - Former captain Michael Ballack has described as a "farce" an offer to end his Germany career with a friendly against Brazil in August, saying on Friday he was not being treated with respect by coach Joachim Low.

On Thursday Low ruled out using the 34-year-old Bayer Leverkusen midfielder again, saying a number of talented younger players were now more important ahead of Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.

The German football federation has offered Ballack, kept on as official captain despite recent injuries, a 99th and final international against Brazil.

"To call a friendly match that was arranged long ago a farewell match is a farce. I know I owe my fans this match but I cannot accept the offer," Ballack said in a statement.

"I found out yesterday, while on holiday, through an announcement that the national coach does not plan with me (in the squad) any more.

"The style and content of the statement (by Low) are unfortunately exactly like the way he (has) treated me since my serious injury last summer."

Ballack, who has scored 42 goals in 98 internationals since making his debut in 1999, has not played for Germany since March last year after sustaining an ankle injury that forced him to miss the 2010 World Cup.

Germany finished third in that tournament in South Africa after fielding their youngest World Cup team in 76 years but Low said at the time that Ballack would return as skipper once he was fit again.

Low, however, has ignored Ballack's claims in recent months despite his recovery from injury.

The coach said on Thursday he repeatedly explained his views to Ballack and the player had understood.

However, the former Chelsea and Bayern Munich midfielder denied that was the case.

"The style and content of this piece of news surprised and disappointed me because it does not in any way reflect what the coach told me," Ballack said.

"If now they say that I and my role were treated openly and with honesty then that is hypocritical."