Former Germany and Chelsea midfielder Ballack also admitted that he ‘cannot understand’ the shock decision by head coach Joachim Low to leave out the Manchester City winger after his superb season.
Sane played a key part in Guardiola’s men romping to their record-breaking Premier League title and his 10 goals and 15 assists saw him named as PFA young player of the year.
Pep Guardiola has been backed as the man to help Leroy Sane cope with World Cup rejection
Germany boss Low decided he did not need Sane’s attacking talents to help retain the World Cup they lifted four years ago, instead opting to take Bayer Leverkusen’s Julian Brandt.
Ballack believes the snub could have a long-term effect on the 22-year-old and he will need the help of Man City boss Guardiola to get him through the tough time.
‘That is the question now, how he handles that knock,’ said Ballack. ‘It would affect him personally more than it would the national team because the national team is settled.
‘Low is not just relying on Sane. The national team lives on many feet. It is a settled team. Even so, it is a surprise.
‘How he handles this now is the next step in his career. How he can deal with not being selected. It was a big dream to be part of that.
Sane was axed from the final Germany squad which will be making its way to Russia soon
‘It’s up to Pep now to talk to him and sort things out in his head, if there are some things. We will see. Nobody really knows. It’s a disappointment for a young kid.’
Sane vowed to come back stronger in a defiant message on social. ‘Thank you so much for your encouraging messages. I’m obviously disappointed I won’t participate in the World Cup but I have to accept this decision and I’ll give it my all to bounce back stronger! Nothing but the best of success to the team in Russia. Go get that title!’
England full-back and Man City team-mate Kyle Walker encapsulated the widespread surprise at the decision by tweeting a picture of himself spraying water out of his mouth with the caption ‘when you find out Leroy Sane isn’t going to the World Cup’.
Low admitted himself that it had been a difficult decision to leave out Sane in favour of Brandt, saying: ‘If it was a 100m race, it would have been a photo finish.’
Ballack believes it is now up to Low to prove that his decision was the right one.
‘We will see if this is a mistake,’ said Ballack. ‘The coach takes responsibility for that, for the whole team. And he has experience.
‘Football-wise, I can’t understand the decision because Leroy Sane is an exceptional young player who had a huge development last season.
Sane had an incredible season and was crowned Premier League Young Player of the Year
‘He’s really quick and adapted well to the Premier League, had a fantastic season, and he is playing for a big club with big players and playing a very good role in that team.
‘He proved he is made for big teams with high expectations, he can handle that even if he didn’t perform the same way for Germany in the first ten matches.’
Low is believed to have been unhappy with Sane’s decision to miss the Confederations Cup last year – which Germany won – to have an operation on his nose.
‘There are some rumours about some things but this is just speculation,’ said Ballack. ‘The attitude in training, and the Confed Cup that he wasn’t part of because of his operation.
‘A coach has to decide how important that was, how angry he is. But there was no signs outside that he was doubtful or that he was a problem in the squad.
‘That’s why it was so surprising for so many people.’
Germany legend Michael Ballack admitted that he ‘cannot understand’ the call to omit Sane
Even without Sane, Germany still boast a rich bed of attacking talent as they look to defend their crown with the likes of Toni Kroos, Marco Reus and Thomas Muller.
Sane’s Man City team-mate Ilkay Gundogan will also be on the plane to Russia.
Ballack believes, Sane or no Sane, Germany still have what it takes to become the first team since Brazil in 1962 to win back-to-back World Cups.
‘Quality-wise we are able to do it again, of course,’ said Betfair ambassador Ballack at the Betfair Road To Russia Preview. ‘We are still a good team.
‘A few players, good players, leaders have retired but time goes and some of the others have stepped into that role so there is a good balance. The quality is still there.
‘But we know it’s going to be really difficult. A lot of things have to come together to achieve something that has never happened before. Luck. A lot of things.
‘There is not a huge pressure on the German team to do that again actually because we achieved it four years ago. But the expectation is not small. They never are.’
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.