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Scolari praise for Ballack

Scolari praise for Ballack

Portugal boss Luiz Felipe Scolari has piled praise on Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack. Scolari is expected to keep Ballack as an important part of the Chelsea first team.

"Ballack is an important player, a great player," said the Brazilian, who will hope the Chelsea man does not ensure that Thursday’s game is his last as Portugal coach.

"He has a lot of technical qualities and is one of the great players in the tournament. Maybe he has hit peak form over the last two years.

"We have deep respect for Germany's qualities but we will play our game and try to beat them.

"Ballack is an excellent player, one of the athletes who has been a highlight of the tournament so far along with four or five others.

"He deserves special attention, but we can't concern ourselves only with Ballack. One of the best wing-backs in the tournament is [Philipp] Lahm. I have to worry about the whole German team.

"Germany are growing. They had not such a good game in their second match [a 2-1 loss to Croatia] but improved in the third and are in good condition to face us."