Low backs Ballack return
© AFP

Germany coach Joachim Low believes midfielder Michael Ballack will return to form and regain the captaincy of the national side after the Germans were held to a goalless draw by Sweden.

In their final game of 2010, Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger led an inexperienced Germany to a dull draw in Gothenburg on Wednesday with four players making their debuts.

Having missed the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ with an ankle injury, 34-year-old Ballack fractured his leg just below the knee on only his third game back for Leverkusen in the Bundesliga this season and will not play again until 2011.

We haven't written off Michael (Ballack) and I am convinced he will make it back it into the team.
Joachim Low, Germany coach

In his absence, Real Madrid's Sami Khedira has filled Ballack's position in the heart of Germany's midfield and after the side finished third at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Ballack will have to fight to win his place back.

But with 42 goals for Germany and with 98 caps behind him, Low is backing his former captain to return with the Germans set to host Italy in Dortmund in February 2011 in their next friendly.

"It always happens that when a player gets injured, others come through and start playing and that is what we have seen with Sami Khedira and Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich)," said Low. "We haven't written off Michael and I am convinced he will make it back it into the team."

Germany are top of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying group and are undefeated after four matches with a five-point lead over their closest rivals.