Michael Ballack, the Chelsea and Germany midfielder, is considering suing Portsmouth's Kevin-Prince Boateng for the terrible foul that has put him out of the World Cup finals with ankle ligament damage.
Ballack, the Germany captain, has been ruled out for eight weeks with the injury he sustained in Saturday's FA Cup final victory over Portsmouth. His agent Michael Becker told German media yesterday that he is considering suing Boateng for lost earnings in sponsorship and bonuses that could total €1m (£855,000), and may also contact the police.
Becker said: "Every spectator has seen what Boateng did. That was clearly a foul with the intention to hurt Ballack. We are considering taking legal action. We are thinking about taking the case to civil court, but criminal punishment is also an option. You can't just intentionally break the rules to hurt your opponent. It's not like a football field is a place where the law doesn't count, unlike what Boateng thinks."
Boateng, who may represent Ghana against Germany in Group D in South Africa next month, yesterday publicly apologised. He said: "All I can do is apologise. I was just too late and I hit him straight on. It looked stupid. I apologised to him twice on the field and now for a third time. It was not intentional."
Ballack is now considering retiring from international football, although he is expected to delay a final decision until after the World Cup. "I have to think over a few things but that was always the case," Ballack said. "I want to be playing football again as soon as possible. I assume that I'll be fit for the start of the season."
Ballack's current deal with Chelsea runs out this summer but speaking from Germany's training camp in Sicily he said: "I reckon that I'll extend my contract."