Big footballing stars, finishing their career in the MLS seem to be a popular trend nowadays. English football star and icon David Beckham has done it, French legend Thiery Henry has followed in that same line plus the likes of Robbie Keane and Paul Scholes who returned to the premiership after a short period.
Now rumors out is linking former German captain and Chelsea star, who currently plays for Bayern Leverkusen to the MLS.
MLS Executive VP Todd Durbin is said to have initiated negotiations to have Ballack come to the MLS, according to sources made available to goal.com. And already New York, Montreal, Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle have expressed interest in him.
“Ballack would be interested in playing for any of those teams, and now it all comes down to who can afford him,” the source said.
With all the offers from Asia and Europe, Ballack seems to prefer a deal in the MLS, where he plans to spend the next two years of his career and possibly call it quits. If his wish comes true, Ballack is likely to earn something around 5.5 and 6.5 million dollars per annum.
“Michael has made 160 million euros in his career,” the source told Goal. “It’s not all about money. He loves America and wants to be a guy that young players can look up to and help a team win.”
Ballack began his career as a youth at Chemnitz, his local team, and made his professional debut in 1995. In 1997 after performing well, he moved to Kaiserslautern where he won his first major title.
He joined the Blues in Stamford Bridge in mid-2006 and won his first English honours, the FA Cup and League Cup, in his first season at the club.
Ballack played in the European Championships in 2000, 2004 and 2008, and the FIFA World Cup in 2002 and 2006. In 2002, he was selected among Pele FIFA’s 100 greatest players alive.