Michael Ballack has revealed that Carlo Ancelotti wanted to keep him at Chelsea, but the board deciding release him on a free transfer led to his move away from England.

“I don’t know if the injury changed their mind, you’d have to ask them,” Ballack said.

"One thing I definitely know was that Carlo wanted me to stay. He told me in a few meetings before and afterwards that he wanted me, but the club wanted to go a different way.


"Chelsea still had a lot of experienced players, but what’s more important is the quality. Part of experience is also quality. I played a long time for big clubs and ambitious clubs."

Ballack also recalled that he had never seen such involvement from the club owner as how Roman Abramovich is with Chelsea.

“When I arrived, I was surprised by how interested Roman was in the team,” he said.

“He was there for pre-season training every day and wanted to get to know all the new players. When you’re the boss of the team, it becomes your baby and you have to be interested.

“He came down into the dressing room after victories and even defeats. He gave us a hard time when we lost.

“He didn’t shout because of the language barrier, but we could feel that he was angry. If he wasn’t happy with the game or the situation, he let everyone know.

“If you don’t do your job as a player 100 per cent, it’s normal that the boss is angry. When we lost, the players were angry, the coach was unhappy, but the angriest was always the boss.

“It’s his baby and he had to put pressure on us to make sure it didn’t happen again.”

When Chelsea released Ballack in 2010, the 34-year-old moved to German side Bayer Leverkusen, but still continued to have problems with long term injuries.

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