Ballack Believes Germany’s Tournament Triumphs can be Star Sixes Motivation

As Germany and England prepare to go head to head in Dortmund this week, fans of both nations will no doubt have their favourite battles in this historic rivalry.

The last meeting between the two in March 2016 ended in a dramatic 3-2 victory in Berlin as Tottenham’s Eric Dier grabbed an injury time winner.

And many Three Lions supporters will no doubt hold dear to their hearts another special away win, as they thrashed their opponents 5-1 in Munich.

England Star Sixes trio Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard and Emile Heskey were all on target that night, Owen netted a hat-trick, while another Star Sixer – Michael Ballack – was on the other side.

However, with a potential England v Germany match-up on the cards at Star Sixes this summer as well, Ballack was quick to remind Three Lions fans of the game earlier in the 2002 World Cup qualifying campaign.

“At Wembley we won the last match, that was historical as well,” said the German. “One-zero, Didi Hamann scored.

“We were lucky to win in Wembley because it is such a historical place.”

Though England responded in earnest with that 5-1 victory in Munich and took the automatic qualification place for the 2002 World Cup, Ballack scored three goals in their two-legged play-off with Ukraine to help his country also book their place in Korea and Japan.

While England fell to Brazil in the quarter finals, Germany made it to the final, also losing to the Samba Boys, with Ballack out due to a suspension.

But despite their better showing at the World Cup, the former Bayern Munich and Chelsea midfielder is still often taken back to the 5-1 result against England, and the performance of then Liverpool striker Michael Owen.

And he will be hoping Germany’s superior record in competitions –winning four World Cups and three European Championships – rubs off on his team at The O2 this summer, especially if they face England at the inaugural Star Sixes event.

“I remember [in Munich] it was 2-1 at half-time and we came out and wanted to turn the game because we had not had a bad first half,” recalls Ballack.

“But he scored in the 46th minute and immediately killed us with the 3-1″

“We are having a good history at tournaments – a little bit better than England,” smiled the 40-year-old, “so we will take our motivation from that and be prepared for Star Sixes.”

Germany and England will be among the 12 nations competing at the four-day Star Sixes tournament at the O2 arena in London from 13 to 16 July 2017.

International legends including Roberto Carlos (Brazil), Robert Pires (France), Carles Puyol (Spain), Deco (Portugal), Steven Gerrard (England), Dominic Matteo (Scotland) and Jay-Jay Okocha (Nigeria) will also be entertaining the fans in the first-ever Star Sixes tournament.

Tickets are now available to buy online, with prices starting at just £30 for adults and £10 for children. Visit Ticketmaster or AXS to book.

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