Today the magazine Sport Bild published their list of the 11 most powerful football players in Germany. With Bastian (Schweinsteiger) in the 4th place, Manuel Neuer in the 2nd, who is the number one? Sport Bild names Philipp Lahm the most powerful German football player. However, please notice that we are not talking about money and its power in this case. We are talking about personal influence.
The article (the original) states:
Philipp Lahm belongs not only to a selected few who have Joachim Löw’s, the national team coach’s, cell phone number, but also to those who have the Chancellor’s. Stored on his cell phone. No wonder that in the past months the Bayern star has risen to the most powerful football players in Germany and, thus, an important go-to guy.
Lahm is the captain of the most successful (German) club and the German national team. In the club, Uli Hoeneß, the president, and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the Chielf Executive, listen to him. Christian Nerlinger is among the closest confidants of the top defense player. Lahm was the first go-to guy of the national coach even before his (Lahm’s) official appointment as the DFB-captain. (my translation)
Now, I do not know about Christian Nerlinger being one of the closest confidants, but I do remember one of Lahm’s interviews dating back to 2008. Even back then he mentioned the fact that people (read: coaches and whatnot) were seeking his opinion. His intelligence is one of the things that I admire about Philipp, and this proves it once again. It is one of his many facets that sometimes gets left behind in a discussion. It is, in fact, one of the answers to some fans’ question, as to why he is the captain.
On a side note, there is a song called “Was wir alleine nicht schaffen” (What We Can’t Accomplish Alone) by Xaiver Naidoo. A song about teamwork, about unity, about the power of change. It was featured in the movie “Sommermärchen” which tells a story of the German national team’s journey to the third place in the World Cup 2006. If you take a look at Naidoo’s performance of this song at the Fan Mile in Berlin in 2006, with the whole team behind him, you might notice that the camera moves from Klose to Lahm at a very precise moment. In particular, you can see that Lahm is mouthing the words being sung by Naidoo at that moment, and they are:
Dazu brauchen wir keinerlei Waffen, unsere Waffe nennt sich unser Verstand
(For this we need no weapons; our weapon is our intellect)
Was it done on purpose? Probably not, and that is the beauty of it all: it does capture Lahm’s essence down to the T.