Germany captain Michael Ballack has agreed to talks with coach Joachim Low as the two men look to repair their relationship following a recent public fall-out.
Low reacted angrily to comments from Ballack claiming senior players were not being given enough respect in the national team. The Chelsea midfielder is unhappy with the way Torsten Frings and Kevin Kuranyi have been sidelined by Low.
The German Football Association said on Friday the two men had spoken by telephone the previous day, after Low had made the initial contact, and arranged to meet in person “as soon as possible”.
Low issued a statement on Wednesday describing the captain’s comments in a newspaper interview as unacceptable.
“I will telephone Michael Ballack and summon him for a talk in Germany,” he said. “[I will] tell him that I am hugely disappointed with the route he has chosen and that the remarks he has made are unacceptable.”
Low has not ruled out excluding Ballack in the same way he dropped striker Kuranyi ten days ago. “My decision depends on what happens in this discussion,” he said. “We will just have to wait and see where we go.”
The coach said Ballack would have to agree to meet him in person and that his future role in the team would depend on how the talks went.
Past and present Germany players have been giving their opinion on the row.
Franz Beckenbauer, still the most influential voice in German football, urged Low not to kick the Chelsea midfielder out.
“Ballack is the best player we have, and the only one who is world class,” Beckenbauer said in his column in Bild on Friday.
“Also, in the last few years he has developed into a real captain. As a coach, you don’t dispense with someone like that.”