German striker Ballack fined for criticising Bayern coach

BERLIN: Bayern Munich have fined German international Michael Ballack over 10,000 euros for criticising the tactics of club coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, German sports agency SID said on Tuesday. 

Ballack, midfield lynchpin of the German national side and Germany's footballer of the year in 2002, told Kicker magazine on Monday that he was unhappy with his current role for the Bundesliga leaders. 

“If you take on a player such as me and you know that he is dangerous in front of goal, shouldn't you be playing him accordingly,” Ballack said, suggesting that Bayern should sacrifice a defender to maximise their attacking potential. 

However, Hitzfeld announced after Tuesday's training that Ballack, who helped Bayer Leverkusen to the Champions League final last season, would be fined. 

“We cannot allow a player to demand a position or a playing system perhaps just to benefit himself. I won't tolerate that in the future. Accordingly Michael Ballack has paid a fine that is clearly higher than that of Claudio Pizarro,” Hitzfeld said. 

Peruvian striker Pizarro was made to pay 10,000 euros (US$10,770) when he criticised the coach in January. Pizarro had complained that he made to defend too much. 

Hitzfeld added he did not want players to know in advance how much their media comments would cost. – Reuters 

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