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Ballack returns to former club Bayer Leverkusen

Ballack was released by English Premier League champions at the end of last season.
Ballack was released by English Premier League champions at the end of last season.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Michael Ballack returns to his former Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen
  • Ballack was released by Chelsea at the end of last season
  • The 33-year-old German captain missed the World Cup through and ankle injury

(CNN) -- Former Germany captain and Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack has signed a two-year deal with his former club Bayer Leverkusen.

The 33-year-old midfielder was released by English Premier League champions Chelsea at the end of last last season, prompting interest from a number of clubs around Europe.

But Ballack, who was ruled out of the World Cup through and ankle injury, decided on a return to the Bundesliga.

"With my transfer to Bayer Leverkusen a circle is complete," he told their official website.

With my transfer to Bayer Leverkusen a circle is complete
--Michael Ballack
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"I had a beautiful and successful time here, on which I like to look back on a lot.

"That was a factor in my decision."

Ballack played for Bayer Leverkusen between 1999 and 2002, scoring 27 goals before a move to Bayern Munich.

His spell at Chelsea culminated in their domestic double last, but in their FA Cup final victory, Ballack was injured after a hefty challenge from Portsmouth's Kevin Prince Boateng.

He has 98 caps for Germany, but it is unclear if he will continue his international career after his South Africa heartbreak.

His new deal with Bayer, who finished fourth in the Bundesliga last season, is worth a reported €15 million ($18.58m).