Berlin - Ex-Germany captain Michael Ballack has retired from professional soccer, his manager Michael Becker confirmed on Tuesday, with the former Chelsea star currently without a club.
Having turned 36 at the end of last month, Ballack has been without a team after his two-year deal at Bayer Leverkusen expired in June.
Since leaving Leverkusen, Ballack had been reported to be negotiating with clubs in north America's MSL and Australia's A-League, but has decided to hang up his boots.
Ballack made the last of his 98 appearances for Germany when he captained the team during their friendly defeat against Argentina in March 2010 having made his national debut back in April 1999 against Scotland.
An ankle injury he suffered playing for Chelsea in the FA Cup final in May 2010 ruled Ballack out of the last World Cup in South Africa when he lost the captaincy of the national team to Bayern Munich's Philipp Lahm.
Having played for Kaiserslautern, Leverkusen and Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, Ballack spent four years at Stamford Bridge with Chelsea between 2006 and 2010.
He was part of the Blues team which lost the 2008 Champions League final to Manchester United in Moscow before captaining Germany to the Euro 2008 final where they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Spain in Vienna.
Ballack is the veteran of two World Cups - he was suspended for the 2002 final, when Germany lost 2-0 to Brazil in Japan, before leading the Germans to third at the 2006 tournament they hosted.