Sports Nicknames - The Little Kaiser

German professional footballer Michael Ballack was a household name in Germany and England as he earned his mark with outstanding performances, impactful presence, and commanding gameplay.

Michael Ballack, also known as the Little Kaiser.  Profile illustration.  Drawing.  Art.

The Little Kaiser:

His professional career started in 1995 with Chemnitzer FC, and he made his international debut for Germany in 1999. It wasn't long before his immense potential was identified, and he was nicknamed the "Little Kaiser" (meaning the little emperor), in reference to the great German player Franz Beckenbauer, nicknamed "The Emperor". In the following years, world football saw him live up to the title.

Career Achievements:

In 1999, he moved to Bayer Leverkusen, where he played an instrumental role in leading his side to a Bundesliga title and the finals of the 2001-02 UEFA Champions League. In 2002, a whopping 12.9 million GBP deal brought him to FC Bayern Munich, with whom he enjoyed a fairly successful period between 2002 and 2006. In 2002, he was included in the UEFA Team of the year. He was also awarded the UEFA Club midfielder of the year in 2002. He won three Bundesliga titles and three DFB-Pokal titles with Bayern and was awarded the prestigious footballer of the year in Germany award in 2002, 2003, and 2005. Pele also included him in the highly acclaimed list of FIFA's 100 Greatest living footballers in 2002.

Premier League:

Between 2006 and 2010, the German Kaiser made his mark in the Premier League as he inspired Chelsea to a premier league title, three FA Cup trophies, a Football League Cup, FA Community Shield, and a first-ever Champions League final for the club.

National Team:

For Germany, he goes down as one of the greatest players of all time.

Between 1999 and 2010, he played 98 matches for his country and scored 42 goals, putting him among the top 10 goal scorers for Germany, despite playing as a midfielder.

He played in Germany's 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, while also participating in the UEFA European Championships in 2000, 2004, and 2008.

He played a key role in the runner-up campaign of Germany to the FIFA world cup 2002 final, with consecutive goals in the quarter-final and the semi-final matches to book a berth in the final. In 2004, he was appointed as the German National Football team captain. Again, in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, he led his side to the semi-finals. He also led the German team to the 2008 Euro Cup finals.


Michael Ballack retired from the professional sport in 2012, but continues to be the emperor with his punditry at ESPN, where his straightforward remarks and game awareness are loved by all.


Click for more Sports Nicknames