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Ballack at the World Cup Draw

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Germany captain Michael Ballack took part of the World Cup Draw Opening Ceremony yesterday in Leipzig. And he can't be any happier. Germany will face Costa Rica in the World Cup opening match on June 9, 2006, in Munich, then they will have to beat Poland June 14 in Dortmund and wrap up the group on June 20 in Berlin against Ecuador.

It seem like an easy group for the host nation, and captain Ballack know it. They are favorites to make it to the second stage, but it would be very dangerous if they underestimate the rivals. Franz Beckenbauer, who captained the 1974 world champion team and then also coached Germany to their third and so far last title in 1990, warned Michael Ballack and company to be on their guard in the opening game.