Club: Bayern Munich, Chelsea
History: Ballack is known for being a versatile and well-conditioned player, equally at home in attack and defence, able to play in almost any position in midfield. He made his name as an attacking midfielder with an eye for goal, but Bayern have recently employed him in a deeper role, where he has been able to direct play. He also has a first class free-kick-taking ability which in many cases has been proven unbeatable for international keepers. He is regarded as one of the most lethal headers in the world but is equally competent with his powerful left and right feet. These attributes have earned him the German player of the year award on three occasions (2002, 2003, 2005), a feat surpassed only by German legend Franz Beckenbauer, who won the award four times. Some experts consider him the most complete footballer in the world today. Since 2004, he has been one of Germany’s leading sports icons and the captain of the German national team, which is seeking World Cup glory on home soil.