Ballack sets sights high
Michael Ballack has declared that he still has ambitions to win silverware with Bayer Leverkusen.
Last Updated: 26/06/10 1:51pm
Michael Ballack has declared that he still has ambitions to win silverware after sealing a return to Bayer Leverkusen.
Ballack was a target for several clubs in his native Germany after being released by Chelsea earlier this summer.
He rejoined Leverkusen on Friday and insists it is not a step down in his career because they are an improving team that could challenge for the Bundesliga title.
"We want to win the league in the near future," said the midfielder.
"My ambitions are still very high. I have always been playing to win trophies over the last decade and we can do that with Bayer too.
"Of course Bayern are the top favourites, but there is such great potential here in Leverkusen and we should also go a long way in Europe."
Having spent the last four years at Stamford Bridge, Ballack admits he was not tempted to remain abroad when he learnt his contract was not going to be extended.
"As soon as I knew I was leaving Chelsea, our first thought was to return to Germany," he told Bild.
"That is our home and we are happy there. We should settle there for the future."
Ballack, who was forced out of the World Cup with an ankle injury sustained in Chelsea's FA Cup final victory over Portsmouth, has signed a two-year contract with Leverkusen.
He claims he could play on longer if he remains fit and has no intention of retiring from international football.
"Of course I still want to play for the national team and I have my eyes on Euro 2012," he said.
"I will be 35 then and we will have to see nearer the time what happens (with a new contract). My health also plays a very big role."
Ballack will be given his favourite number 13 shirt with Leverkusen, but he may not necessarily be handed the captain's armband.
"That is up to the coach," he said. "I don't have to be the captain to assume responsibility.
"Simon Rolfes is a great captain and has filled the position well and I think that it will remain that way."