Thomas Tuchel sends touching message to Michael Ballack after son’s tragic death

18-year-old Emilio Ballack was involved in a quad-bike accident in Portugal earlier this month and the Chelsea manager made sure to pay tribute to the former Blues star in his programme notes ahead of their Premier League opener

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RIP Emilio Ballack: Michael Ballack’s son Emilio dies aged 18

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has sent a touching message to Michael Ballack after his son’s tragic death.

Emilio Ballack was involved in a quad-bike accident in Portugal earlier this month and died at just 18.

Ballack senior, 44, spent four years at Stamford Bridge from 2006 to 2010 and the Blues family was rocked by the news.

Tuchel used his programme notes ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League opener against Crystal Palace on Saturday to pay tribute.

The German is a compatriot of Ballack’s and wrote: “I would like to use my notes to send a message to Michael Ballack.

“We recently received the terrible news that his son, Emilio, had passed away in tragic circumstances.”

Thomas Tuchel used his programme notes to pay tribute to Emilio Ballack

Tuchel also recalled hearing the news at their Cobham training ground.

“I was told by Petr Cech when I came in from training and, even before he told me, I could feel that something was wrong when I came into the building because the mood among everyone was so low,” the 47-year-old explained.

“It was a shock for us all.

“I’m not in touch with Michael personally, but I know how much of an important figure he is for Chelsea, and of course for Germany as well.

“It is the worst thing that can happen to you as a parent and he can be sure that we are all thinking about him as we send him and his family our strength and best wishes.”

Tuchel’s tribute is among a host, including former Blues captain John Terry.

He wrote on Instagram: “Words can’t describe how heartbroken I am.”

Oliver Kahn, who played alongside the 6ft 2in midfielder for Germany and Bayern Munich, said he was “shook deeply” by the news.

Emilio Ballack (right) was killed in a quad-bike accident, prompting tributes from across the football world



“There are no words at a time like this,” Khan said in a statement on Bayern Munich’s website.

The club themselves said it was “united in grief with its long-serving player and his family”.

Chelsea, where Ballack won the Premier League title and League Cup once, and FA Cup three times, said they were “shocked and saddened” to learn of Emilio’s death.

The midfielder had two spells at Bayer Leverkusen and sporting director Rudi Voller commented: “The news came as a shock and it’s hit me very hard.

“We mourn for the lad and our thoughts are with Michael and Simone [mother of Emilio].”

Ballack had a trophy-laden time in west London, winning one Premier League and League Cup along with three FA Cups.

Tuchel and co will be hoping to give the former playmaker something to smile about on Saturday afternoon as they look to start their season with a win.

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