Loew says Ballack will captain Germany again

Germany coach Joachim Loew says Michael Ballack will return as

captain once he is back in form, with Philipp Lahm as his


Loew moved Wednesday to defuse an issue that threatened to

become a distraction with Germany about to begin its qualifying

campaign for the 2012 European Championship.

Ballack missed the World Cup due to injury. Lahm became captain

and has previously said he wants to keep the job.

Loew’s decision to leave Ballack out of the squad for Friday’s

match against Belgium and next week’s game against Azerbaijan

fueled speculation he might lose the captaincy.

However, Loew says Ballack will keep the job but ”is not in a

position to strengthen the team right now.”

Lahm will continue as captain.