Ballack ends Bierhoff feud

Germany skipper and team manager settle differences

Ballack: Professional cooperation

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Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff and midfielder Michael Ballack have settled their differences.

The pair fell out during Euro 2008 when Ballack was unhappy with Bierhoff for inviting wives and companions to relax at the team hotel following the defeat to Croatia.

The Germany captain felt that it was inappropriate for players to be allowed time off after such a poor performance.

The feud became public at the end of the tournament when Ballack was seen to insult Bierhoff after being asked to hold up a banner with the rest of the team to thank the fans for their support.

Clear-the air talks before the recent World Cup qualifiers were unsuccessful, prompting top officials to urge the duo to speak again.

Ballack and Bierhoff have now discussed matters on the telephone and have insisted there is no longer a problem.

Constructive

"It was an open and constructive discussion in which we both reflected on what has happened in recent weeks," said Bierhoff.

Ballack added: "Everything was discussed and the foundations for a professional cooperation have been laid."

Ballack missed Germany's opening World Cup qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Finland due to injury but he should return for the key games against Russia and Wales next month.

Coach Joachim Low is happy that everyone in the camp can now focus solely on trying to qualify for the tournament in South Africa in 2010.

"I am delighted that this has been cleared up with an open dialogue with each other," said Low.

"We can now look forward to our upcoming World Cup qualifiers at home to Russia and Wales with the highest level of concentration."