Commentary On Lahm: Markus Lotter’s Opinion Piece

Ladies and gentlemen, congratulations! The hunting bashing-on-Lahm season has officially begun. I ask you to forgive my sarcasm, but I could not contain myself. I have almost forgotten what it feels like, to read hateful articles. I thought I would be able to get away with not translating two or three questions about Ballack from the SportBild interview, but I was wrong. Yesterday morning I came across an article that is based on those  questions. Thus, please bear with me. Before going into detail about yesterday’s opus from Markus Lotter, I am including the translation of those questions:

– Ballack abruptly and unexpectedly left the quarters [of the National Team] in South Africa. Was that already the first sign that something was not working out anymore between the team and the captain?

Lahm: You should ask him that yourself. However, it is clear that when a team spends time together over the course of three to four weeks, a person who comes later on is an outsider at first. Regardless of whether it is a captain or another player. The team works toward a goal. And for a person, who is not working toward that goal at that moment, it is difficult.

– You mentioned that Ballack had not been dismantled. How would you describe the end of his career in the National Team?

Lahm: It is a pity that he has come to it this way. Michael Ballack is a national player of an outstanding merit, who has done a lot for the German football in recent years. Hence, I hope that he will yet decide to participate in a farewell match. That would be a nice and appropriate end of his career in the National Team.

– With regard to the announcement of his dismissal, Ballack has accused the national coach of lying. Joachim Löw informed you of the end of Ballack’s career in May. Ultimately, you should be able to uphold the national coach’s version.

Lahm: Only the participants from both sides can comment on that. [The fact] that I believe and trust the national coach is obvious. I can only say that in May Herr Löw said to me exactly what he has now announced publicly.

(my translation, (c) unavis)

What I think Lahm means when he says, “I trust and believe the national coach”, is him believing that Löw informed Ballack. However, the way it was done (when, how, where, how many times)  is not clear, and that is what Lahm is saying here. He trusts Löw that he did tell Ballack and can only point out that he, himself, found out about the captaincy (not the details of Ballack’s and Löw’s conversations) in May. Other details should be coming for both parties. Also, I believe that “the exact same thing”, in this case, is simply an announcement that Ballack is no longer a member of the National Team.

I would also like to point out that Lahm did not say anything that he had not already said in his interview to TZ, which I translated some time ago. So, this brings me to Markus Lotter’s article, who has not probably read the TZ interview.

Markus Lotter’s opinion piece:

Commentary on Philipp Lahm

Without Class

With his involvement in the much-discussed dispute between Michael Ballack and the national coach Joachim Löw, Philipp Lahm makes a mistake. The captain of the National Team better keep quiet.

Aside from several moments during the FIFA Women’s World Cup, when the commentator Nia Künzer scared us with Philipp-Lahm-like gestures, facial features (especially, the eyebrows) and cackles, it was a damn good, almost Philipp-Lahm-free football summer. 

No stagnating in his athletic progress defender, who with an unpleasant aspiration and without cease, expresses his opinion in public. No captain of the industry leader FC Bayern Munich, who gets himself – exactly how he likes it and how he needs it – before the cameras and microphones of this world. No, women have played football, and in the mixed zones of the World Cup stadiums we were not annoyed with personal external policy but thrilled with refreshing statements.

A More Or Less Nicer Advice

Unfortunately, this wonderful summer ended prematurely with a statement that we heard on Wednesday. ‘Cause Philipp Lahm, this time as captain of the National Team, spoke out and gave Michael Ballack, his predecessor, a more or less nice advice via tabloid interview. Lahm hopes, so it was reported, that Michael Ballack, after his much-discussed dispute with Joachim Löw,  “will yet decide to participate in a farewell match. That would be a nice and appropriate end of his career in the National Team.” It is, indeed, a pity that “he has come to it [the end of his career] this way.” It is understood that Lahm believes “Herr Löw” on the matter. Löw told him in May the exact same thing that “he has now announced publicly.”

If one wants to evaluate these statements nicely, one writes: that is cheeky. If one is disgusted by remembering the events of the World Cup 2010, one writes: that is not proper.

The captain of the German National Team keeps quiet and wears the armband with class.

(my translation, (c) unavis)

This has to be one of the most unprofessional pieces of journalism I have ever seen. Screw the lack of objectivity. But  talking about Lahm’s facial features, gestures, in that hateful manner is beyond my understanding. One can say that to his friend or wife, but not to the general public! Sure, it is Nia Künzer who has those expressions, gestures, and cackles that scared Mr. Lotter, but the parallel is oh-too-evident, not to mention the fact that he strongly dislikes basically everything in Lahm. Why am I not writing for some newspaper? I could provide the same type of subjective article. Objectivity rarely exists, if at all. Why is that we teach journalists to be objective and then get that kind of writing? It is a shame. True, it is an opinion, and everyone is entitled to one. Fine. Then, why does Lahm get criticism for expressing his? Should it not be accepted as well?

As to “he should keep quiet”, Mr. Lotter, as a journalist, has to realize that Lahm does not come up with questions for  interviews. In the interview to SportBild, he commented on what he had already said to TZ. Look at how the question was formulated, and you will know what I mean. It is not like he brought up a topic that had been forgotten. He expressed his opinion a long time ago, at the beginning of July, when that issue was still sizzling. In addition, it is part of Lahm’s job, to express his opinion publicly.

Before criticizing others, Mr. Lotter should learn how to express his opinion in a respectful manner.



  1. This newspaper is known for its pro-Ballack stance. No wonder the journalist came up with such a hateful report. It’s ok. I think Philipp Lahm would not care about these comments.

    1. You know, that’s what I figured. You’re probably right.

      Me too, I think Philipp does not pay attention to stuff like that, but I do =))) I mean I just think it is very unprofessional. One has to realize that his articles influence the public opinion, and one should take responsibility.

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