Philipp Lahm is one of the most recognised and respected players in the footballing world; he remained a one-club man during his whole career. The 31-year-old German international is a full-back and defensive midfielder for Bayern Munich and the previous captain of the German National Team, Die Mannschaft.
Current captain of Bayern, many times Ballon D’or contender, a player of UEFA Team XI for four different years, Lahm is definitely one athlete worth watching. He has great build-up play, boasts fast pace, constructs a strong defence and has precise dribbling and tackling abilities. The ‘magic dwarf’ manages to score a few goals too. In his whole career, he has scored 19 goals, which is rather impressive for a defensive midfielder.
His resume doesn’t stop there; Lahm won the World Cup 2014 with the German National Team, and has as well won six Bundesliga titles, six DFB-Pokal Cups, the UEFA Champions League in 2013 along with the FIFA Club World Cup with Bayern Munich. He certainly has exceeded all expectations and achieved everything there is to, yet, he never ceases to amaze his teammates and fans with his skills. It is no secret that Lahm is a natural footballer but he does not rely only on talent alone; he is very humble and has great team spirit. Furthermore, the captain stays in shape by constantly training and working hard, and has even admitted that he has learned a lot from coach, Pep Guardiola, even with all the experience he already possessed. This definitely reveals that he is always looking to improve and is eager to win and succeed even more.
After lifting the World Cup trophy in July, Lahm made a shock announcement: he was to retire from his international career, leaving his successor, Bastian Schweinsteiger, a captain for the DFB team. Along with him, Miroslav Klose and Per Mertesacker opted to retire. Although the player feels he is in good shape and has a few years left in him, he recently also revealed he will retire from football permanently in 2018. But before hanging up his boots, Lahm admits he wants “to win the Champions League again”.
Bayern has had a promising season, and with Guardiola and a striking Bayern Munich, this can probably be the season they win the Champions League again. In fact, Bayern slammed Hamburg last Saturday a whopping 8-0. Their great performance in that last match, nevertheless, does not determine or finalise anything. The team has still got a lot to do to win; the return of Lahm, a key player in the team, from his ankle injury, is necessary and critical. The 5’7’’ hotshot builds a very strong wall against opponents along with Mehdi Benatia and David Alaba who are both currently best players in their respective countries. Lahm, a true legend, has never got a red card from the referee, and the last yellow he received was eight months ago. Actually, Andrea Pirlo, the Juventus star, had the following to say about Lahm: “One of those players who never makes mistakes, always so reliable for Germany and Bayern. Probably doesn’t always get the credit, because it’s just so normal for him to be playing at such a high level now”.
Right now, Lahm is focusing on returning from the injury he suffered three months ago. But never fear, the World Champion was relieved of his crutches and has started training for full recovery at Allianz Arena yesterday morning.
With Arjen Robben, Franck Ribéry, Thomas Müller, Schweinsteiger and a long list of phenomenal players, Bayern has been on top of their game in the first half of the 2014/15 season. They sit at number one on the Bundesliga table with an eight-point lead and they will play Wednesday 17th February, against Shakhtar Donetsk in the last 16 Champions League match in Arena Lviv. Unfortunately, as expected, Lahm will not be participating.
Here are eight things you didn’t know about the Bavarian:
1) Lahm joined the Bayern Munich Junior Team at the age of 11;
2) One of his first coaches was Hermann Hummels, his teammate, Mats Hummels’, father;
3) Hermann Hummels said that, “If Philipp Lahm will not make it in the Bundesliga, nobody will anymore”;
4) He paid the highest fine in the history of Bayern for giving an unauthorised interview in 2011;
5) He played for a spell with VfB Stuttgart on loan;
6) He has a foundation called ‘Philipp Lahm-Stiftung’ to support underprivileged children;
7) He is an official ambassador representing FIFA for SOS Children’s Villages;
8) In 2011, he released an autobiography called ‘The Subtle Difference – How to Become a Top Footballer’.
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