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Ballack Rebuilding Bridges to German Coach, Teammates
AFP, March 18th, 2009 3:30PM

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In an effort to shed a recent past of being critical of the current national team coach and using verbal tirades to get his point across both on the field and in the locker room, midfielder Michael Ballack is slowly building back relationships with Joachim Loew and teammates alike as Germany attempts to qualify for the 2010World Cup and recover from a rare pair of home losses.

Acknowledging that "things are different to how they were" when the locker room was a place where a team's problems could be sorted out, Ballack appears to have a new approach, saying "my challenge is to conduct myself as the captain of the national team and to be approachable for the younger players."

So far, so good, or so say senior players like Phillip Lahm, who noted that he communicates  "far more than he used to," and Miroslav Klose, who has noticed that the Chelsea standout "tries to integrate himself more."

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