Five years ago, comedian Omid Djalili attended Chelsea’s player of the season event and had a very interesting conversation with former Germany midfielder Michael Ballack.
In 2o10 Ballack’s time at Chelsea was drawing to a close but he advised Djalili, who himself is a lifelong Blues fan, that the club had a ready-made replacement.
Ballack revealed that, while he did not speak a word of English, a certain 21-year-old Nemanja Matic had the ability to reach the very top and even surpass the achievements of the German international:
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Heavy praise indeed from a player who won the Bundesliga four times during his career.
However, it appears Ballack’s assessment was astoundingly accurate, as since returning from a spell at Benfica, Matic has become an essential player for Chelsea.