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Cole, Ballack and Belletti to leave Chelsea

Michael Ballack goes off with Ankle injury and will now miss this years World Cup 2010 in South Africa with Germany. Chelsea 2009/10 Chelsea V Portsmouth (1-0) 15/05/10 The FA Cup Final Wembley Stadium Photo Robin Parker Fotosports International Photo via NewscomAfter months of speculation, Joe Cole, Ballack and Belletti become the high profile players to be released by Chelsea this summer. Though they enjoyed different statures within the club, their contributions cannot be overlooked. Apart from Cole, Ballack and Belletti did not have a successful career at Chelsea as they would have expected, but their journey was nonetheless eventful. From the highs of winning the double last season to the lows of losing in the Champions League final, it has been nothing short of exciting. The FA cup final has become the last match in which all these three players donned the Chelsea shirt.

Joe Cole is one of the amazing professional that you can find. His exemplary character meant that even when he had to prove himself under different managers, he never sulked and came back to prove his worth in the team. He failed to impresses only one manager
out of the 7 he has so far played against in his Chelsea career, but that has proved to be the decisive one. Even if he moves to rivals like Arsenal or Tottenham he can be sure of one thing when he comes back to Stamford Bridge, a warm reception. Cole has scored a lot of goals in his 282 appearances but my favourite has to be when he scored against United after dribbling past a number of players.

Joe Cole’s Chelsea career statistics:

Chelsea Matches Appearances As substitute Goals Yellow Red
Total (Club) 282 (93) 39 39 0
League 183 (61) 27 27 0
FA Cup 24 (7) 2 1 0
League Cup 20 (8) 4 3 0
European/Others 55 (17) 6 8 0

Belletti signed from Barcelona for a fee around £4 million in 2007 leaves as a fan favourite despite not being a first team regular. He is a player who always gives a 100% and coupled with his ability to score some spectacular goals made him a firm favourite among Chelsea fans, but at 33, he is one of the older members of the squad and his exit will give some much needed playing time for youngsters like Sam Hutchinson and Bruma. He has scored 5 Chelsea goals to date and even though each one is a scorcher, my favourite has to be the 35 yard screamer against Middlesbrough in a 5-0 victory. Belletti has won one Premier League winner’s medal and two FA cup winner’s medal during his time with Chelsea.

Belletti’s Chelsea career statistics:

Chelsea Matches Appearances As substitute Goals Yellow Red
Total 94 (40) 5 14 1
League 54 (25) 5 8 1
FA Cup 9 (3) 0 1 0
League Cup 11 (0) 0 2 0
European/Others 20 (12) 0 3 0

Ballack signed by Mourinho from Bayern Munich on a free never really showed the form that has made him one of Germany’s greatest players of the current era. There were suggestions even before he signed that he and Lampard cannot play in the same side. But while Lampard has continued to flourish, Ballack has struggled to fit into the team during most of his 4 year stay with the club. He used to average a goal every two games before joining Chelsea, but ever since signing for the West London outfit, it has diminished. His astronomical salary of £120,000 a week got more headlines than his performances. His best performance in a Chelsea shirt was against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in which he scored twice helping Chelsea to win 2-1.

Ballack’s Chelsea career statistics:

Chelsea Matches Appearances As substitute Goals Yellow Red
Total (Club) 167 (27) 26 32 2
League 105 (18) 17 21 2
FA Cup 15 (3) 5 2 0
League Cup 12 (3) 0 1 0
European/Others 35 (3) 4 8 0

These are three great players with great individual abilities and though they are not irreplaceable, some of their special qualities will certainly be missed. It should also be noted that all these players missed out on winning the Champions League with Chelsea despite of going close so many times.

Chelsea FC True Blue wishes them all the best for the future.