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Michael Ballack was spotted enjoying a visit to Art Basel in Switzerland with girlfriend Sophia Schneiderhan & More Breaking News Headlines Today

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Michael Ballack’s new girlfriend is a 21-year-old model who was discovered as a talent in her early teens and was a close friend of his son before his tragic death last year, according to reports.

The 45-year-old former Chelsea midfielder, whose son Emilio was died in a sad quad-bike accident last year, was photographed with girlfriend Sophia Schneiderhan at Art Basel in Switzerland earlier this week.

The couple, who became close after Ballack’s son died in a car accident, appeared to be in love and were spotted kissing in public, according to German news site Bild. The duo was earlier sighted in Berlin together.

Sophia is a model who was good friends with Emilio Ballack’s kid before his death last month in a car accident.

Reihard, her father, is a spine physician and former surf school owner who formerly had three surf schools in La Garda, France.

He now practices throughout Germany and has also worked in Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, and has written three books on back pain.

Sophia attended kindergarten in France and speaks fluent French despite having spent much of her childhood in Munich.

She went on to a tiny private school in Germany, where she excelled in biology and sport science and had a strong interest in history.

She sought a modeling career after being noticed wearing a Dirndl – a German folk costume often linked with Oktoberfest – on an underground train in Munich when she was 13 years old.

The man, who knew the buddy she was with at the time, owned two fashion firms and went on to work with Sophia on several shoots after meeting her.

The photo shoots were always overseen by Sophia’s mother, who is also a sports model and is described as her “best friend” by those close to her.

Even though she had signed a contract with the agency in Munich, she was discovered in France and approached by a woman, a mother, from a model agency.

She opted to go with the French agency instead after getting a strong feeling about the woman. She was working campaigns and editorials for Escada, a Munich-based fashion label, at the age of 15.

She is believed to have frequently skipped classes in order to do so, and she would make up the time at the weekend.

She worked for Escada for two years, learning the fundamentals of the fashion industry while making high money.
Sophia claimed in an interview when she was 18 that she had most of her life planned out.

She claimed she planned to follow in her father’s footsteps into medicine in her forties after pursuing a career in marketing, brand building, and coding in her 20s and 30s.

Sophia also stated that by her mid-twenties, she intended to have five children, four of her own and one adopted.

Ballack, who is 24 years her senior, is not the only man she has dated who is older than her. When she was 18, she had her first lover and love, who was 27 years old.

According to others who know the family, her parents were initially hesitant. She met the man in Munich and soon became friends, assuming they had met before but couldn’t remember when or where.

They kept bumping into each other and decided to go out for coffee. They had six coffee dates before he officially took her out to dinner and they began dating.

They temporarily separated up after a year of dating after he proclaimed his love for her. Sophia, who was only 19 at the time, wasn’t sure she felt the same way.

After a fortnight apart, she realized she loved him and the two reconciled. It’s unclear when the couple broke up again before she began dating Ballack.

Ballack’s son Emilio was killed less than a year ago when his quad bike fell backward and crushed him as he reversed and lost control after a family BBQ at Ballack’s Portuguese vacation house.

Emilio, 18, pictured in his last Instagram post at the family's holiday home just six days before Thursday's accident in Portugal

Emilio was Ballack’s middle son, born in 2002 to then-girlfriend Simone Lambe, whom Ballack married in 2008 but divorced in 2012.

Friends of the couple told Bild that they thought the relationship was healthy for Ballack and that the couple didn’t appear to mind the 24-year age difference.

Meanwhile, Casten Germann, a German football writer for Fussballdaten.de and Sport Bild who has interviewed Ballack on multiple occasions, said the relationship had’surprised’ the German press.

‘When I first saw Ballack and interviewed him, he was a really bashful guy,’ he added. He didn’t have much experience dealing with the media, so his coach was in charge of the interviews.

‘At the time, Germany didn’t have any true football idols, so there was a lot of pressure on him, and he was considered as a type of clean-cut gorgeous guy and a rising star.’

‘He was also a bit of a heartthrob, and you could almost call him a German Matt Damon.’ When he lived in Munich, he was highly popular with the ladies.

He was thought to be a really gorgeous charmer. Many English female admirers saw him as a kind of popular poster-boy, similar to David Beckham.’

‘However, once he started having children with Simone, he changed his image.’ He had now established himself as the family’s most well-known member.

When his son Louis was born in 2001/2002, I recall him being on the pitch wearing a t-shirt with a photo of his kid underneath his football jersey, and whenever he scored, he lifted up his jersey to show off his baby to the fans.’

‘He constantly stressed the importance of family to him, and I was never aware of any rumors about his fidelity.’ He and Simone were regarded as the ideal couple. In 2013, he led his family onto the pitch to the delight of the crows at his farewell match.’

‘Given all of this, it’s shocking to me that he’s dating Sophia Schneiderhan, who is 24 years younger than him.’

‘It must be a terrible thing to lose your children – it must be the worst thing that can ever happen to a parent,’ he added, adding that he did not feel it was his position to ‘judge’ Ballack.

‘I’ve come to the conclusion that this connection is the result of really unusual circumstances.’ This is, without a doubt, an extremely challenging position for everyone.

‘Perhaps it brings people together in terrible circumstances, and the strangest things happen.’

‘Perhaps it’s a case where you’re looking for affection, where you’re grieving a great loss, and you’re looking for something to grasp on to.’

‘I’m not sure.’ But I don’t believe it’s the case that he’s just saying lovely things to her to lure her into his bed or anything like that. He isn’t a heartbreaker in my opinion. He strikes me as a gentleman.’

Ballack was riding on an uneven stretch of terrain near the family’s Villas do Mar estate, near the town of Troia, which is just south of the capital, Lisbon, when the bike slid backwards and fell on top of him at 2 a.m. on August 5.

Before medics could try to resuscitate him, firefighters had to pull him free of the wreck, but their attempts were in vain, and he was pronounced dead at the spot.

‘The mishap occurred at the family’s residence. The quad rider was not on a public road, and his vehicle was the only one engaged,’ a police officer told Portuguese media.

Emilio was reversing out of the property on his quad when he had his deadly accident, according to the Portuguese daily Jornal de Noticias.

According to the newspaper, he is believed to have lost control of the vehicle while exiting the family villa and ended up on a public road with the quad on top of him after collapsing. His grandma is alleged to be the one who alerted the authorities.

Emilio had earlier in the evening enjoyed a family BBQ at the villa, according to sources. He was there on vacation with his father, two brothers, and Michael’s parents.

The body of the adolescent was brought to the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Santiago de Cacem for a post-mortem examination. Ballack is yet to make an official statement on the matter.

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