Germany captain Michael Ballack has responded to criticism of his form at English Premiership champions Chelsea, saying manager Jose Mourinho was happy with his efforts.
“As far as I am concerned, I have integrated well into the team,” Ballack told SID sports news agency.
“I feel very happy, I’ve found my role in the team and I have had plenty of confirmation of that, above all from my coach, Jose Mourinho, with whom I talk a lot,” the midfielder said Monday.
“There are a load of tabloid newspapers in England, which always need something to write and it doesn’t particularly bother me,” said the German skipper.
“Naturally, in a team like Chelsea it takes time to perfect your game and play an outstanding role.”
The latest criticism of Ballack came from Bayern Munich president Frank Beckenbauer, who said he should have opted for Manchester United instead of Chelsea when he left Bayern last year because his colleague, Frank Lampard, was “stronger and takes his position”.
However, Ballack dismissed the criticism, claiming the pair complemented each other.
“He plays his game, I play mine. We have a good understanding.
“Chelsea have been champions for the last two seasons and so expectations are high.
“We are lagging behind a little in the title race and so this (the criticism) is something we have to live with, especially the new signings.
“It’ll be tough because United are so consistent. But we are still have a home match against them to come.”
Ballack also said he believed that Mourinho would be staying at the club, despite constant speculation concerning a rift with the club’s owner Roman Abramovich.
“Our coach is confronted by new rumours every day. I am sure as my teammates are that he is going to stay at Stamford Bridge.”
Ballack is expected to line up for Germany in a friendly against Switzerland in Dusseldorf on Wednesday.