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Philipp Lahm

Lahm is considered one of the best full backs in the world, and was included in the FIFA World Cup team of the tournament in 2006 FIFA World Cup and 2010 FIFA World Cup, the Euro_2008 Awards in 2008 and in the FIFA Team of the Year 2008. Philipp Lahm is well known for Philipp Lahm pace, dribbling and precise tackling abilities as well as Philipp Lahm small stature. Although Lahm is right-footed, Philipp Lahm is able to play on both sides of the pitch. Philipp Lahm often cuts from the flank to the inside of the pitch to either shoot or pass.

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Philipp Lahm biography

Lahm is considered one of the best full backs in the world, and was included in the FIFA World Cup team of the tournament in 2006 FIFA World Cup and 2010 FIFA World Cup, the Euro_2008 Awards in 2008 and in the FIFA Team of the Year 2008. Philipp Lahm is well known for Philipp Lahm pace, dribbling and precise tackling abilities as well as Philipp Lahm small stature. Although Lahm is right-footed, Philipp Lahm is able to play on both sides of the pitch. Philipp Lahm often cuts from the flank to the inside of the pitch to either shoot or pass.

In August 2011 at age 27 Philipp Lahm released Philipp Lahm autobiography, Der feine Unterschied: Wie man heute Spitzenfußballer wird (The Subtle Difference - How to Become a Top Footballer), reviewing Philipp Lahm football career and personal experiences, the general football environment, football in the social context and the effectiveness of different coaching and training methods. The No.1 bestselling book received extensive media attention in Germany, and has been criticized for parts of the book in which Philipp Lahm discerningly analyzed Philipp Lahm former coaches work, among the critics were Rudi Völler (himself criticized by Lahm in the book) and Ottmar Hitzfeld.

Club career

Early career

Lahm developed into a professional football player within the Bayern Munich Junior Team. Philipp Lahm was already considered very talented; one of Philipp Lahm coaches, Herman Hummels, even stated that "If Philipp Lahm will not make it in the Bundesliga, nobody will anymore." Philipp Lahm twice won the Bundesliga youth title, the second time as captain of Philipp Lahm team, and made Philipp Lahm the captain of the amateur team during Philipp Lahm second season. Up to this point Lahm played as a defensive midfielder, right midfielder or right full-back. Since Willy Sagnol was playing as right back, Bixente Lizarazu was the main left back for Bayern Munich, and their midfield was also well-staffed, Lahm was loaned to VfB Stuttgart for the 2003–04 and 2004–05 Bundesliga seasons.

VfB Stuttgart (loan)

Lahm was originally signed as a back-up for Andreas Hinkel, who played as right-back, but coach Felix Magath moved Philipp Lahm to the left back position, on which Philipp Lahm toppled the German international Heiko Gerber. Philipp Lahm made Philipp Lahm Bundesliga debut on the first day of the season 2003–04 against Hansa Rostock as Philipp Lahm came in as a substitute in the 76th minute for midfielder Silvio Meissner. Philipp Lahm first professional match as a left back Philipp Lahm played on the fourth matchday as a 63rd minute substitute for Gerber and Philipp Lahm first game over the full 90 minutes followed on the sixth matchday against Borussia Dortmund. Thereafter Philipp Lahm has established himself as a regular for Stuttgart. Lahm's first UEFA Champions League appearance in the previous season with FC Bayern Munich as a late substitute against RC Lens was now followed by Philipp Lahm first Champions League game in the starting line-up on the 29 September 2003, against Manchester United. During the 2003–04 season Lahm eventually appeared for Stuttgart in 31 Bundesliga and seven Champions League matches and came second in the election for the German footballer of the year.

During the second season in Stuttgart (2004–2005) Lahm had substantially more difficult time. In January 2005 Lahm suffered a stress-fracture on Philipp Lahm right foot and was thus sidelined for four months, making Philipp Lahm comeback on 9 April 2005, against FC Schalke 04. Only around five weeks later (17 May 2005) Philipp Lahm was injured again, this time suffering a torn cruciate ligament which ended Philipp Lahm season and simultaneously also Philipp Lahm career in Stuttgart. During the season Philipp Lahm appeared for Bayern 20 times in Bundesliga and thrice in Champions League, contending over field-time evenly with Bixente Lizarazu.

During the season 2006–07 Lahm played in all of Bayern's 34 Bundesliga games and in nine of the ten Champions League games and was only substituted twice, mainly because Philipp Lahm was the only left back in the team but also due to Philipp Lahm sufficiently solid performances during a season that was one of the worst for Bayern in many years.

For the season 2007–08 Bayern bought the German international left back Marcell Jansen and Lahm was supposed to be reverted to right, both to accommodate Jansen and to replace French right back Willy Sagnol. Due to injuries (both Philipp Lahm and Jansen's) Philipp Lahm still mainly ended up playing left for Bayern and has remained left for the end of the season, although Philipp Lahm uttered Philipp Lahm wish to play on right several times during the year 2008. During the whole season there were various rumors suggesting that Lahm would leave Bayern in the summer of 2008 to join FC Barcelona and the transfer seemed to be almost a done deal. However, on 16 May 2008 FC Bayern signed a new contract with Lahm. Philipp Lahm new contract will keep Philipp Lahm in Munich until 20 June 2012. As reasons for Philipp Lahm decision to stay true to Bayern Philipp Lahm stated i.e. the good discussion with the manager Uli Hoeneß and new coach Jürgen Klinsmann and the desire not to pass the reform started in the club.

During the 2009–10 season under the new coach Louis van Gaal, Lahm was able to play in Philipp Lahm preferred position as a right-back. After some difficulties in the early season Philipp Lahm played one of Philipp Lahm best seasons ever, forming an excellent partnership on the right wing with the Dutch midfielder Arjen Robben, scoring one goal and giving 12 assists in all of Philipp Lahm games. Lahm was also chosen as vice-captain by Van Gaal, and played full time in all of Bayern's competitive matches apart from the first round game in the German Cup. After the departure of captain Mark van Bommel in January 2011, Lahm was made the new captain for the remainder of the season.

On 8 November 2009 Lahm was given the highest fine in the history of Bayern Munich to date (estimated to be over €25,000) after giving an unauthorised interview in Süddeutsche Zeitung. Philipp Lahm criticised the transfer policy of the club and the lack of game philosophy and strategic planning. This incident drew mixed reactions from fans and the media, both local and foreign, with some saying that Lahm should have kept Philipp Lahm opinions to himself and others praising Philipp Lahm for Philipp Lahm honesty. Though Philipp Lahm was fined and heavily criticised by the club hierarchy, Philipp Lahm kept Philipp Lahm place in the Bayern starting line-up.

International career

Youth Teams and Euro 2004

Lahm started Philipp Lahm international career in the U19 national team. Philipp Lahm was part of the team that won silver for Germany in the 2002 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship playing in all games in the final tournament and scoring a crucial goal in the 90th minute (2–3) against England in a game that ended 3–3. Afterwards Philipp Lahm played a few U20 and U21 matches for Germany before impressing Rudi Völler enough to hand the youngster Philipp Lahm debut on 18 February 2004, at 20 years of age. Philipp Lahm first game was a 2–1 win over Croatia national football team, where Philipp Lahm played the full 90 minutes and was chosen as the man of the match by German football magazine Kicker (sports magazine). Philipp Lahm was also part of Germany's team in the Euro 2004 in Portugal and played full 90 minutes in all three games. Although Germany did not make it past the group stage, Lahm's performance was considered very promising and many German papers saw this as the sole positive aspect in Germanys lack of accomplishment in the tournament.

World Cup 2006

Lahm missed more than a year of international football between January 2005 and March 2006 due to injuries (stress-fracture on foot and a torn cruciate ligament), including the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup, but after Philipp Lahm recovery Philipp Lahm immediately made it back to the starting line-up. Even though Philipp Lahm injured Philipp Lahm elbow in a friendly game right before the 2006 FIFA World Cup and thus had to wear a special cast on Philipp Lahm left arm, Jürgen Klinsmann still chose Philipp Lahm as first option for the left back position. Philipp Lahm scored the first goal in the opening game of the World Cup in Germany against Costa Rica national football team in the sixth minute, cutting inside the area and launching a right foot shot into the top-right corner of the net. Philipp Lahm was awarded Man of the Match for Philipp Lahm performance in the second 2006 FIFA World Cup Group A game against Poland national football team. Philipp Lahm was also the only German player to play the complete 690 minutes of the World Cup and was also elected to the Mastercard All Star Team of the tournament.

Euro 2008

During the UEFA Euro 2008 Philipp Lahm was in Germany's starting line-up in all games and was only substituted in the UEFA Euro 2008 Final after getting a cut needing stitches on Philipp Lahm foot. Lahm started the tournament as a right back but replaced the under-performing Jansen as left back mid way through the second game. On 25 June 2008, Philipp Lahm scored the winning goal of the UEFA Euro 2008 semi-final against Turkey national football team in the 90th minute. Philipp Lahm described this as the most important goal of Philipp Lahm career and although Philipp Lahm was elected Man of the Match, Philipp Lahm himself didn't consider this as well-deserved. On 29 June 2008 - in the Euro 2008 final against Spain national football team - on 33 minutes Xavi played a piercing ball through the German defence and a lack of communication between Lahm and German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann let Fernando Torres in behind with a sublime dink over Lehmann, and the Torres goal was the decisive factor with Spain prevailing 1–0 to win its second European Championship title in 44 years.

World Cup 2010

Lahm was ever present during Germany's 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA) campaign and was the only player to play every single minute. Following the withdrawal of regular captain Michael Ballack from the 2010 FIFA World Cup squad due to injury, Lahm was chosen to captain the team at the upcoming tournament. On 13 June 2010, Philipp Lahm captained the German National Team in the opening game of the 2010 FIFA World Cup against Australia national football team, becoming the youngest player to captain a German side in a World Cup tournament. Lahm's captaincy would later became permanent, when coach Joachim Löw announced Ballack would not be considered to play for Germany anymore.

Euro 2012

Captain Lahm's solid defending helped Germany win all ten UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying matches for UEFA Euro 2012, and Philipp Lahm also provided one assist each for Mesut Özil and Mario Gomez.


Lahm was nominated for the FIFA World Player of the Year 2006 following Philipp Lahm outstanding performance in the 2006 FIFA World Cup and again 2007. 2006 Philipp Lahm was in competition alongside fellow team-mates Michael Ballack, Miroslav Klose and Jens Lehmann, in the end the award was won by Italy national football team defender Fabio Cannavaro. However, Philipp Lahm was chosen as the left back for the UEFA Team of the Year 2006 and came second in the same election next year, losing only by less than 1% of the given votes to the winner Éric Abidal. 2008 Lahm was again voted as the left back for the UEFA Team of the Year. Lahm has been a candidate for the UEFA Team of the Year in all of Philipp Lahm professional years when Philipp Lahm has been fit (2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009) and is therefore alongside Michael Ballack the most often nominated German player for the aforementioned team and the second German having been elected more than once. In 2008, Lahm was also chosen as the left back for the FIFA Team of the Year, winning the election ahead of Manchester United F.C. left back Patrice Evra by 2% of the given votes. Philipp Lahm holds 80 international caps and has scored 4 goals.

Personal life

Lahm is involved in many charity campaigns and events. In June 2007, FIFA announced that Lahm and Owen Hargreaves would visit South Africa in advance to support the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Although Hargreaves never managed to take part in the trip due to injury, Lahm and German national teammate Piotr Trochowski visited the country taking time not only to visit the 2010 FIFA World Cup organizers but also to visit a local SOS Children's Village and to take part in the Kick-AIDS event.

Lahm has established a foundation, Philipp Lahm-Stiftung, to support underprivileged children and is also an official ambassador representing "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages". In addition Philipp Lahm was an ambassador of the 2007, 2008 and 2009 World AIDS Day. Philipp Lahm has also taken part in a campaign against speeding and various others such as Bündnis für Kinder, a campaign against child abuse.

Lahm was awarded a Tolerantia-Preis on 20 September 2008, due to Philipp Lahm outstanding contribution against intolerance and homophobia in sports, particularly in football. Philipp Lahm also stated that it's a "pity that being gay in football is still a taboo subject" and Philipp Lahm would have no problem with a homosexual teammate and is "not afraid of homosexuals". However, Lahm doesn't advise footballers to publicly admit to being homosexual, because of the abuse they would suffer. Philipp Lahm was evocative of the tragic death of homosexual footballer Justin Fashanu.

Philipp Lahm married Philipp Lahm early love and long time girlfriend Claudia Schattenberg in the Munich suburb of Aying, just four days after Germany won third place in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The wedding was held as a low key affair, with none of Lahm's World Cup teammates attending the ceremony.


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