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It was impossible to mark Michael Ballack back in the day… because he always *smelled* really bad 

The former Chelsea midfielder seemingly had an interesting method of keeping his markers at bay

It seems former Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack had an unorthodox way of putting off his man-marker back in the day. 

The hard-tackling German, who also turned out for Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen before retiring in 2012, was widely considered one of the most complete midfielders of his generation.

Smelly pits?

EPA
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Smelly pits?

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But according to legendary Paraguay goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert, he also had impressively bad body odour.

The former shot-stopper – who played against Germany and Ballack in the final 16 of the 2002 World Cup – had the ESPN studio in hysterics at the weekend, after claiming the midfielder stank when the two sides met that summer.

Ballack was part of the Germany side that reached the final of the 2002 World Cup

AP:Associated Press
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Ballack was part of the Germany side that reached the final of the 2002 World Cup

He said: “You couldn’t get near Ballack because his B.O. was terrible, absolutely terrible.

“He should have used more deodorant or a lemon.

“Perhaps it was a strategy, who knows!”

Germany finished the game 1-0 thanks to an 88th-minute goal from Oliver Neuville, but Chilavert focused on his poor teammate Estanislao Struway, who had the sorry job of marking Ballack.

Chilavert was nicknamed ‘the Bulldog’

EPA
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Chilavert was nicknamed ‘the Bulldog’

Chilavert played 74 times for Paraguay between 1989 and 2003 and is perhaps best remembered for scoring a remarkable eight goals… as a goalkeeper!


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