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After relative success in recent major championships, die Mannschaft cannot afford to lower their expectations.

Michael Ballack has declared that it Germany must set lofty aspirations for the forthcoming World Cup finals in South Africa.

The Chelsea midfielder has already enjoyed domestic success this season by winning the Premier League, and he could also claim the FA Cup at the weekend. And, now in the winning habit, he doesn’t want to see any relent from his team-mates in the national side.

“If you are vice-European champions and declared a miserable failure at the last World Cup despite getting to the semi-finals, you cannot set goals that are below that,” he told Kicker. “[The team] has been redesigned and has recently been less attractive, but we are not worried about the strength of the team.”

Ballack, like the German players involved at Bayern Munich and Werder Bremen, will join up with their national team colleagues late due to club commitments, but the Chelsea man has expressed his belief that this should be taken as a positive.

“Perhaps the Bayern players will come as Champions League winners, Werder’s players as DFB Pokal winners and I as a double winner,” he mused, pondering the confidence boost that the players would receive from such a scenario.

Germany’s campaign starts on June 13 against Australia.

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