Today the TZ (online) magazine published an interview with Philipp Lahm, in which they touched upon a few topics, including that of the new era in Bayern, the national team, and Michael Ballack:
Mr. Lahm, do you sense a different mood in Bayern?
Lahm: The fact that we are able to complete our training with all the players, that alone is reassuring. That gives us and those responsible a certain feeling of peace.
Does Heynckes bring a wind of change with him?
Lahm: Every coach has a different personality and works differently with players and staff. His experience and his calm are very pleasant. But the discipline is still very important, as before.
Has captain Lahm already decided if there will be a penalty scale?
Lahm: I have talked briefly with Jupp Heynckes. I think there will be one.
How have you heard about the summer drama of the former German captain?
Lahm: I heard about it in its entirety while I was on vacation. But I had been earlier informed by the coach.
Lahm: Around mid-May.
That means that in the last two international matches of the season you knew you were now the DFB-captain?
Lahm: Yes, I knew that.
For over a year you have felt as captain, now it is official. Has something changed for you?
Lahm: No. When one wears a(n) (captain’s) armband, one has a responsibility, tasks on and off the field. It does not matter if one is captain for one, three, or ten games.
Ballack has accused Löw of lying. How can things be smoothed over?
Lahm: Michael Ballack and Jogi Löw have to figure that out among themselves. In this case, I am an outsider. I cannot interfere. There is no doubt that Michael Ballack is a big figure in our sport. Of course, it comes with a bit of melancholy when such a player retires. But I do not want to say anything on the nature of this resignation.
Has Ballack been stripped of power step-by-step by Jogi Löw, by your statements that you want to keep the armband?
Lahm: I only said that for me it is a great honor to be the captain of the German national team. Michael Ballack has not been dismantled.
Still, can you imagine that the coach deliberately lied to Ballack?
Lahm: No, that I cannot imagine. I have always known Jogi Löw as an honest and decent man.
Would there be place for Ballack on the young team?
Lahm: We have been successful lately, however these questions are not relevant anymore. And no matter how it went, Michael Ballack, himself, has announced that he would have resigned from the national team.
Would you at least wish Ballack to have a farewell game?
Lahm: Big players like him have earned a decent farewell. But that is not my decision.
Does Michael Ballack have to apologize?
Lahm: I do not know, he should give an answer to that. It would be nice if he and DFB found a solution together, but that is out of my hands.