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GER–MEX (Match 15), Anheuser Busch Man of the Match: Michael Ballack (GER)

29 June 2005
by FIFAworldcup.com

Germany captain Michael Ballack picked up his third Anheuser Busch Man of the Match award after scoring a magnificent winning free-kick as Germany clinched third place in the FIFA Confederations Cup, beating Mexico 4-3 after extra time in the third-place play-off match.

Ballack was inspirational after Germany had been reduced to ten men following the dismissal of Mike Hanke in the 54th minute, according to FIFA Technical Study Group member Lim Kim Chon.

"It was a close call between Michael Ballack and Robert Huth, who was also outstanding for Germany tonight," Lim Kim Chon said. "In the end I chose Ballack for his leadership qualities on the pitch as well as his superb performance.

"When Germany went down to ten men his exceptional leadership qualities came through and he was superb at organising his players and keeping them focused. He was always pushing forwards and his distribution was excellent.

"And then, of course, there was his wonderful free-kick that took the score to 4-3. Mexico had numbers in the wall, but Ballack got the ball to sail over all of them and into the net. It was a technically brilliant free-kick but it also came in extra time when there were a lot of weary legs.

"After running up and down the pitch for nearly 100 minutes, it took a calm head and real concentration to strike a set-piece that well. He made a superb contribution in a very exciting match."


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