CHELSEA midfielder Michael Ballack has told Germany coach Joachim Low he will have to consult with his club before they can meet for showdown talks.
On Wednesday Low summoned Ballack for one-to-one talks after being “disappointed” at comments the Germany captain made in a newspaper interview.
Ballack suggested Low had been disrespectful in his recent treatment of Torsten Frings and Kevin Kuranyi.
Frings was left out of the team for the World Cup qualifiers against Russia and Wales, while Kuranyi walked out at half-time in the Russia game after being left out of the matchday squad.
Low was incensed his skipper had used the media to criticise him and threatened to strip him of the national team captaincy.
The former Bayern Munich man’s international career now hangs in the balance and will be determined “by how the conversation goes” when the pair meet, according to the Germany coach.
But Ballack has told Low he can only fly to Germany if Chelsea allow him to do so and has told the Germany chief to get in touch with them first.
“The German Football Association will have to arrange it with my employers Chelsea,” he said.
“I am open to this one-to-one discussion at any time. I am glad that the coach wants to talk to me and am looking forward to this discussion.”
Meanwhile, Frings has backed Ballack for speaking out in his defence.
Speaking after Werder Bremen’s 2-2 draw with Panathinaikos in the Champions League on Wednesday, the 31-year-old said: “Michael has been around long enough to notice when something is not right.
“When he feels that something is not going right, then it is his right to speak up.
“Players who have already proven themselves do not get worked up over nothing. Ballack has every right to speak out as the captain — he only wants what is best for the team.”
Meanwhile John Terry has rounded on the critics who question his England commitment and insisted he will always put his country before Chelsea.
Captain Terry scored his first goal at Stamford Bridge for two years to earn a vital 1-0 win over Roma in the Champions League.
But the 27-year-old was fuming at continued speculation over how he managed to return for Chelsea’s last two games after missing England’s World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Belarus with a back injury.
“People should know what I’m like as a player and as a character,” said Terry. “It’s just disappointing that anyone would question my determination to play for my club or country.
“No-one was more gutted than me, as England captain, to walk away from the squad last week and watch them travel to Belarus.
“I did everything to get fit but my back just wasn’t right. I have worked hard my whole career not to miss any games. It has been frustrating the last two years because I’ve picked up a few injuries.
“But England is the ultimate. You get picked for England by playing well for your club. England is far bigger than Chelsea, far bigger than Manchester United because you’re representing your country and we’re all very proud to do it, no-one more than me.
“I don’t understand where all this is coming from, the back is completely fine. I’ve had no bad responses since the operation and I’ve been doing exercises since then, which I need to continue doing. But I’m in a fit condition and raring to go. I have just had a stiff back which we can all get.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved