Ballack to play for Chelsea

Michael Ballack was officially unveiled as a Chelsea player in Beverly Hills.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:36 IST
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Michael Ballack was officially unveiled as a Chelsea player in Beverly Hills three days before the English champions play a Major League Soccer all-star team. The Germany captain, who joined the Blues as a free agent before the World Cup, is confident that he will taste success as one of many big names in Chelsea's team of superstars. Chelsea's summer signing Michael Ballack met the press at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Wednesday. The English champions are currently training in Los Angeles ahead of this Saturday's game against an MLS all-star side in Illinois. Ballack joins fellow newcomer Andriy Shevchenko and a host of superstars at Stamford Bridge having signed a three-year deal with the Blues after his contract with Bayern Munich ran out. No regret The 29-year-old insists that he is feeling no regret after turning his back on the German powerhouse and heading to London. "Yes, I think it was a very good decision for me to join Chelsea because I am looking to be successful and there are great players in the team, so it was fortunate for me to join Chelsea," said Ballack. Ballack led Germany to the World Cup semi-finals in the summer and captained Bayern to a league and cup double in last season's Bundesliga campaign. His role as a leader may be reduced at Chelsea, but Ballack is willing to put the success of the team ahead of his own personal glory. "I think I knew the fact that at Bayern I was like a leader, but I don't really mind being less of a leader and more of part of a team because as you can see bigger teams like Brazil," he said. "They had a lot of stars but they also focus on playing as a team, rather than on one star. I really don't mind playing as less of a leader and more of a part of a team," he added. Ballack will have to battle it out with Chelsea's established midfield trio of Frank Lampard, Claude Makelele and Michael Essien in order to claim a first team place. At least Ballack will be able to satisfy his superstition as he bids for a starting role. He has been handed the team's number 13 shirt, which had been held by the club's want-away defender William Gallas. (AP)