By Chris Wright
Germany captain Michael Ballack has tipped his fellow midfield cohort Bastian Schweinsteiger to follow Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira‘s lead and try his hand abroad this summer – adding that the Bayern Munich hub would fit in well at both Real Madrid or Manchester United.
Schweinsteiger’s contract with Bayern runs until 2012, although talks over an extension have stalled recently, leading Ballack to suggest that his one-time understudy now has the perfect opportunity to ‘peak’ in either England or Spain:
“[Schweinsteiger] has taken on the responsibility placed in him and is now in a phase when he is looking to reach the zenith of his career.
“He took a huge step forwards at the World Cup. He has presence, authority, personality, performance and goals – he has everything.”
Ballack also turned down Bayern Munich’s offer of a new contract when he chose to move to Chelsea in 2006, and so admits that he understands the pressure that will be accompanying Schweinsteiger’s imminent decision:
“Only he will be able to feel what is right for him for the future. Of course every footballer is attracted to certain things and Bastian will feel these also.
“But there are not that many big clubs around and Bayern is one of them. On the other hand, Real or Man United are both attractive and he would fit in well at both clubs.”
Which, judging by the way these little developments tend to arrange themselves, means we can probably look forward to the announcement of a new five-year contract extension with Bayern at some point within the next couple of days.