Former German international Michael Ballack could have switched to Real Madrid in 2002. As he revealed in an interview with Sky Sports, the 43-year-old had an offer from the royal team before the lost Champions League final with Bayer Leverkusen.
“It’s no secret that Real Madrid wanted to sign me, even before the final,” said Ballack. However, the former Capitano decided against switching to the Blancos, who then celebrated their ninth success in the premier class against the Werkself.
Instead, he was drawn to the German record champions. “Madrid is something special, but I listened to my feeling: Bayern Munich was the best address for me as a German club,” Ballack explained his decision. The former midfielder could still have imagined a later change to Real.
Ballack stated: “Real Madrid was always a club that I could imagine for the rest of my career. I was still young and I could have done it (after my time in Munich; ed.).” However, the interest of the Madrilenians was only in 2002, which is why a transfer was no longer possible.
Ballack, on the other hand, almost found accommodation with Real’s arch rival Barca two years later. As Ballack revealed, the deal with FC Barcelona only broke due to different ideas about the transfer. “It didn’t work. I don’t regret things because it was like it was,” said the four-time German champion.
Instead of moving to the Primera Division in 2006, Ballack moved to the island free of charge, where he celebrated a championship title and three FA Cup victories at Chelsea in four years. After missing the 2010 World Cup, Gorlitzer returned to Leverkusen and ended his career there two years later at the age of 35.