This Chelsea legend is football’s most notorious runner up

Chelsea rake in the trophies these days.

In the past five seasons, they’ve lifted the Premier League (twice), the League Cup, the Champions League and the Europa League.

But there’s a Blues legend who has become known as the most notorious runner up in international football.

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Michael Ballack was a powerhouse while at Bayern Munich and Chelsea, and won more than his fair share of trophies at club level over the years, but there was a brutal couple of months in his career.

A young Ballack’s Bayer Leverkusen side were on for a domestic treble in the 2001-02 season, but were pipped to the Bundesliga title by Borussia Dortmund on the final day.

Leverkusen had the chance to stop the rot of their title in the German Cup, but were beaten 4-2 by Schalke. We all know what happened when they squared up against Real Madrid in the Champions League final shortly afterwards. Zizou, will show you…

You’d think that getting into four finals that season you’d come home with something, but Ballack carried the curse onto the international stage too.

His Germany side were on the receiving end of a particularly painful 2-0 defeat by a rampant Brazil side, with the mighty Ronaldo bagging twice in the final.

He would go on to win titles in two different countries, which says something about the character of the man, considering what a painful couple of months he went through in 2002.

*Doffs cap to a legend of the game*

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