Leipzig - World football stars past, present and future turned out by the bucketload to honour the majestic career of midfield legend Michael Ballack on Wednesday.

The 98-time Germany international signed off in some style, scoring three in a highly entertaining clash between a "Ballack & Friends" ensemble and World XI outfit managed by Jose Mourinho.

Fitting finale


The party in full swing long before kick-off, it was the man in the iconic No13 jersey who rightly stole the show with a first-half brace. Jumping ship for the restart, it got better for the former Germany captain who, after Andreas "Zecke" Neuendorf dinked over Jens Lehmann at one end, added to goals from Didier Drogba (two) and Andre Schürrle at the other to swing the contest the way of Mourinho's men.

Fittingly, the evening's all-star cast formed a guard of honour come full time, shortly before the Görlitz-born hero made one final lap of the Leipzig pitch to the tune of Frank Sinatra's "My Way", following over 15 unforgettable years at the top of the game.