Injured Germany captain Michael Ballack has predicted that his side will beat Argentina 3-1 in Saturday's FIFA World Cup™ quarter-final after watching the team train here on Friday.
The 33-year-old midfielder, who was ruled out of the finals after injuring his ankle in May's FA Cup final, told German daily Bild that he could offer little advice to the young side which has produced some electrifying football.
The Germany squad has an average age of just under 25 and Ballack came to Green Point Stadium on Friday to watch the side train on the eve of their quarter-final showdown and says he has been impressed by what he has seen. "I have no advice to give the team, everything is going really well, what they have achieved so far is fantastic," Ballack said. "Under these conditions, we have our chances against Argentina and I predict a 3-1 victory."
Joachim Low's Germany have caught the eye at South Africa 2010 with a 4-0 win over Australia in the group stages before they hammered Fabio Capello's England 4-1 in last Sunday's Round of 16 match. Ballack, who was released by Chelsea at the end of last season and has rejoined one of his former clubs Bayer Leverkusen, has flown to South Africa to visit his compatriots.
If Germany beat Argentina, they will face Spain or Paraguay in next Wednesday's semi-final in Durban and Ballack will remain with them at their hotel on the outskirts of Pretoria. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is also expected to attend Saturday's quarter-final and will meet South Africa's President Jacob Zuma during the course of her visit.