New Excerpts From Lahm’s Book

So, I think I have figured out Bild‘s plan: they keep publishing those excerpts to make sure that I read their articles. I am certain they know that I cannot help but read it. On the one hand, I am angry at them for making encouraging me (to) read those because they obviously choose juicy parts. (On a second thought, everything in Lahm’s book seems juicy to me.) I say this to Bild every time I read one of their articles with the excerpts, “Stop publishing it!” *laugh* On the other hand, I do realize that it is being done for promotional purposes, and I am curious about the book anyway, so it works out just fine.

ATTENTION: I do not know in what context these following excerpts appear in the book, as I refer only to what Bild has published so far. Thus, PLEASE DO NOT make hasty conclusions about it.

In these excerpts, Lahm talks about the European Championship 2008 and the behind-the-scenes atmosphere:

[before the match against Austria] “One thing is clear: if we play against Austria as a quarreling bunch , just as we played against Croatia, we can stop thinking about the knockout phase of this championship. Older players have a go at all younger players on the pitch.

Instead of throwing oneself into the breach for one another, everyone pulls each other down, says the wrong word at the wrong time, shows via his demotivating body language that he can’t handle it anymore, and what is even worse, that he doesn’t want to give one hundred percent, and that is not enough at this level.

We have to talk.

The next day we get together after all the frustration that has led us to a couple of ugly dialogues in the locker room and that has been put away for the first time. In our meeting room, we sit in chairs in circle. Every player is here. Those who have been criticized, those who have criticized and who have been criticized for criticizing. Time to clear things up. The air still vibrates with negative energy. Some players do not pretend they like some of the others. But nothing is being said.


None of us can get up and go because he can’t stand the other’s face any longer, so hateful words, even if they are honest, are better left unsaid. It might be that the harmony in the German National Team was better at one time, but at least we have realized what the lowest common denominator is, on which everyone can agree: a win against Austria.”

(my translation, (c) unavis; I did skip a paragraph or so.)

The atmosphere he is describing here is just… unbelievably tense.

Then Bild mentions the defeat in the match against Spain, talking about Lehmann’s and Lahm’s mistakes and mentioning that Lahm was injured at half-time. (I am glad they put it this way because I still think it was a misunderstanding between the two, and not just one person’s fault.)

“While the head coach sends Marcell Jansen to warm up, I sit in the locker room and cry. It doesn’t get worse. First, to make a blunder, and then not being able to help anymore, to make amends.”

(my translation, (c) unavis)

I have to say that this bit has had a profound impact on me. The way he writes about it, the bitterness of that moment… How he wanted to help out, to correct his mistakes… And that he cried… (By the way, who has been saying that Lahm does not have emotions? I have said it before, and I am going to say it again: think twice.)

EDIT: Bild points out that the next few excerpts will be about a roasting from Rummenigge and conversations with Hoeneß. And I am somewhat afraid of what he has written about that. I do not want him to apologize for 2009. I hope he does not do that, unless he presents it in a way that I can accept it. 


  1. isabellasboutique · · Reply

    I have been reading your blog for a while – perfect for keeping me up to date on Philipp ;) Also I completely agree with all your opinions.

    I hate it when people say that Philipp is emotionless! He is an extremely passionate person, as he has shown through all his charitable gestures and causes etc. He puts 100% into everything and when he doesn’t, he admits that he didn’t. In interviews he speaks so eloquently and clearly as they’re not emotional occations – he’s one of the few German players I actually understand.He’s professional and only says what has to be said. I mean the interview he did in 2010 when they lost against Spain was just heartbreaking (well for me anyway). The way he says that he blamed himself in the book just makes me want to hug him all the more!

    All the criticising surely has to have something to do with this whole hierarchy debate right? (so sorry for bringing it up, I hate hearing about it myself). I just can’t see otherwise how a team can criticise one another – that and I can visualise Ballack yelling at everyone. (I’ve been pretty anti-ballack in this whole thing).

    I don’t want him to apologise for 2009 either. It may not have been deemed “appropriate” by the powers that be, but the right things a lot of the time, never are. They definitely listened to him though by trying to subtly change their ways, but I think they definitely respect him as a result. He has often been commended by the Bayern powers that be, that his opinions are valued. So it went ok in the end. They just had their egos hit.

    I’m relying on your translations as my German’s not advanced enough to translate completely :) I’m getting the book for my birthday (which unfortunately is 28th September) but I had a glimpse from a link someone posted here, and he has included some adorable pics! Call me a sucker for a cute romance, but the wedding one of him and Claudia are just awww! I want to know what he’s mentioned about his private life! :D People say Lahm talks to much yet he still manages to keep his private life private. People just need something to poke about him as he’s too amazing.

    I shall look forward to more commenting in the future :)

    PS. Thank you for your translations. They are very helpful.


    1. Hi!

      Thank you very much for leaving a comment!

      1. “In interviews he speaks so eloquently and clearly as they’re not emotional occations – he’s one of the few German players I actually understand.”

      Yep, I agree =) One of the people I know has said the same thing =)

      2. With regard to the interview after the match against Spain, oh yeah… It was obvious he had to take a second to collect himself.

      3. As to criticizing, I think it does have to do with the hierarchy to some extent, like you have mentioned. But I also think, at least in 2008, it had to do with people being frustrated and angry at themselves, at their colleagues, at the whole world. I don’t see it as something unusual, if you know what I mean. Stuff like that happens when the stakes are high. Thus, I don’t understand why people are so freaked out that Lahm has said that. Yeah, so they were fighting within a team, so what? It happens. It happens in families, too, and a team is like a family.

      4. I agree that the pictures are really good.
      As to “talking too much”, I think people forget that it’s part of his job =) Besides, they are angry when he doesn’t say anything, they are angry when he does say something. They need to set their priorities straight ahaha

  2. Urgh, all the stirring up of controversy. I hate the media. People will talk just about what Bild pieces together and not about the actual book. Already, a friend of mine, who isn’t the biggest Lahm fan, hates him. Not that that’s not a very juvenile reaction in itself, it just makes for some very exhausting arguing in the near future.

    Also, everybody already calls the book his biography when it is clearly not. Lahm is possibly the smartest football player I’ve ever known, he knows 27 is not old enough to have anything interesting to write about life-wise. It is, however, the perfect age to write about being a professional football player, especially with the factory popping out younger players by the month. Of course he does it now when he’s still relevant.

    Anyway, I am blessed cursed with infuriatingly bad short-term memory, so when I read the book, it will be as if for the first time, no thanks to Bild. ;) I am so glad, by the way, to have learned about it on this blog and not from Bild. So thanks! :)

    1. Andi~

      As always, thank you very much for leaving a comment!

      Frankly, I am glad that at least Bild quotes him and not just writes something =) I’ve figured I should be grateful for that ahaha.

      People are sometimes too hasty. In this case, it is especially easy to be hasty because I doubt everyone reads/listens to what Lahm says. Therefore, there is that information gap making it difficult to see a bigger picture. Or, they simply do not care. People who have disliked him before will surely dislike him even more. And as much as I want them to see him clearer and fuller, and really think about their judgments, I realize that Lahm is not an ice-cream to be liked by everyone =) So, whatever…

      What surprises me is that, like you’ve pointed out, everyone refers to the book as Lahm’s autobiography. I mean he clearly stated what it would be about in March, but I guess the media wasn’t really paying attention at that point. And with every magazine repeating that it is an autobiography, people just believe it to be so. It is difficult to convince them otherwise.

      Lahm is possibly the smartest football player I’ve ever known
      Amen to this! And to the whole paragraph, for that matter.

      Having read two chapters and the excerpts chosen by Bild, I think I might start the book from the beginning anyway ’cause it is so much fun =) The only thing left is to actually get it.

  3. Hey,

    sorry for my first comment. I thought you would be a native speaker, because your translation is excellent. Therefore, I will henceforth try to write my opinion in English. Please excuse all my mistake, I am going to make ;-)

    I think, I would like to start with the book itself. I think it will be very interesting. Especially for younger players, who are dreaming to become a professional one day. Lahm does not seem to write only about the positive aspects, which one will experience, but also about the negative. This is a world, where one wrong step can be your last, that you have to give your everything to suceed and that not everything will be like it seems. I think that are important aspects young players should think about, before they make their decision.

    For me, one of Lahms biggest fans, it will show me a little bit of the real Lahm. Of the person behind the player. I will get a glimpse of his feelings in different situation, which will be for me the most interesting part.
    I want to unterstand him better than before. Therefore I am so happy, that he has written this book. I want to know who Philipp Lahm is. Just one of the best fullbacks in the world or just a man, who has thought hard for his success, but is just like you and me. A person, who has feelings and dreams.

    For all the other people in this stupid country it will be another ‘scadal book'(sorry, i don’t know a good expression for this ;-) ). You can already see how stupid of this people are. They read some of the lines of the book and although they don’t know context of this sentences, they think, they can judge about Philipp Lahm.
    They don’t now anything, but think they do. These people are saying, that Lahm is not in the right position to criticize former coaches. That he thinks he is better than them and knows everthing better.
    But what are these people in such comments doing? They critzise someone, who they dont know, whose book they haven’t read yet and insult him in a way, i havn’t read before. I am really ashamed of these people and hope that Lahm will never read such stupid comments. He does not deserve such hate. Especially not for this book.

    Like me you have already read the first two chapters, haven’t you? Haven’t you got the impression that those lines, BILD has already published, were totally inappropriate. With this I don’t mean, that they don’t belong into this book, but without the context they don’t do it. I can imagine that those line will be with the context around much more harmless than one can think in this moment. We must not forget, that BILD is publishing those lines. And they would do everthing, to get a scandal.

    This leads me to three questions I have been asking me since the first article:

    1. Why did Philipp allowed BILD to publish some parts of his book? He could have asked any other newspaper to do so.

    2. Why do he publish this book now?

    3. What is Philipps real plan behind this book?

    Like I said, I have been thinking very hard on these questions, but a real answer I have not found.

    To 1. I have read a lot of comments, in which people talked about the rumors of Philipps supposedly homosexuality and that BILD is blackmiling Philipp with his secret. But I don’t think so. No matter if Philipp is gay or not, he seems to me not like someone who you can easily blackmailing. In my opionion he would rather do a outing than to do what this newspaper want him to do.
    Others writed that he just uses this paper to promote his book even more, which could be the real reason. I mean, if this was his intention from the very beginning he has already reaches his goal. Although this book has not been published yet, it looks like it will be a bestseller. (surely you have already read this nice article of spiegel online, right? ;- ) )

    To 2 I do not really found an answer but I think it does have a meaning behind it. Like his intention of writing und publishing this book, which brings us to question number three.

    We all allready know, that he does nothing without a good motive for doing something. Like his scandal interview two years ago. He did it, because he felt that it was necessary.
    And now he got the feeling to write a book. But why? A good question i can barely answer before I have not read the whole book. Therefor I do not want to speculate which was his motive. All I want to say is, that i strongly believe that someting in this book will open our eyece. Some aspect you never would thoght of, before Lahm make it public. But what this thing will be, I don’t know.

    I am too tired to write someting about the already published parts.Like I said, nobody can judge about them without reading the whole book. So I have also no right to defend it.

    One more note to Mr Völler: He should be thankful, that Lahm has no intention to reveal all the little dark secrets. I think when this would be his real intention, this book would reveal much more details of this time. I do not really know, why Völler gets so angry. I mean, in the parts where Philipp write about this man, he just make clear, what was wrong in those times. For me it is no criticism, but a comment of his thist experience in the National Team. More to this topic I will write in my comment, when you have translated the new published part ;-)

    That now people are demanding, that Philipp should give his captaincy up because of this book, is so much exaggerated. I don’t think Philipp has written this book without the okay of his superior of FCB and DFB. But we will see, what the price of publishing this book really will be. I hope it do not have any consequences because at the moment I can’t see anything bad about it. It just the truth through Philipps eyes. And I am proud of him and hope that he will reach his goal with this book!!!

    Liebe Grüße


    1. Just wanted to let you know that I would respond to your post a bit later. It’s so late here, and I’m still writing… I have to get up early tomorrow.

      I would like to thank you for leaving a comment. I really appreciate it. Vielen Dank!

  4. Having read Fips4Ever’s comments, it suddenly came up to me: why would Philipp allow BILD to publish these parts of the book, which caused so much trouble? I think he knows how things will go on. People who hasn’t read the whole book, began to critisize him so hard, including Mr. Völler. I’m really sad he said such thing about Philipp. He chose Philipp for the first time into the National Team in 2004, but now he said bad words about him. I simply cannot understand. Mr. Völler didn’t even read the whole book. How could he say that to Philipp just because of some lines quoted by media!

    1. Do not quote me on this, but I think he has some kind of a deal with “Bild”. I have seen an article that talks about what “Bild” gets from people (celebrities), including Lahm.

      That being said, that is all I know… or can think of at the moment.

      The book would have caused trouble even if “Bild” had not published the excerpts. There is no other way about it. The media would have been on it in any case.

  5. Jennifer · · Reply

    As Philipp Lahm’s huge fan, I have to admit that I am really worried about him now. I do not think It was a wise decision for him to give us so many revelations in his book right at this point of his career (although I am curious about everything about him). Although these excerpts were taken out of context and were made in a sensational way for the sake of book promotion, negative comments on his former coaches do exist and will never be wiped out. He could have shunned all these stuffs for his own good.
    I just don’t understand what he has been thinking and what message he wanted to convery through his book. Philipp struck me as a man who knows what he wants. But this time, I don’t know what objects he wanted to achieve by writing this book. Infuriating people who are still powerful in Germany’s football circle is not a good idea. I just hope he can stay away from controversies and win people’s approval (It wouldn’t be hard. He always brings good performance. He is examplary in his commitment to social causes. He has become more and more vocal on the pitch, if you have noticed. So his efforts and leadership qualities will one day be recognized. I think his leadership style will one day be recognized.) But this book has done him little good. I am just worried about him.

    1. Jennifer~

      Thank you very much for leaving a comment! I will respond as soon as possible. It’s 3:35am where I live. Having just finished writing another post, I am tired, and I have to get up in 5 hours.
      I’ll definitely get back to you ;)

    2. Jennifer~

      Here I am with my comments =)

      In my opinion, those are not revelations. And that is not what people are pissed off about (sorry for my language). Some of them even say, “It is not about whether or not it’s true, it’s about…” So far, I have not heard anyone say that Lahm’s statements aren’t true. Why? Because everyone knows and/or understands that they are.

      As Andi has mentioned in one of his comments, it actually is an appropriate time. I mean, later on there would have been too much of a time gap, if you know what mean.

      Don’t worry, Philipp does know what he wants. He always has. And now, he knows it, too. We, as the audience, do not know, but I am sure he does. As to his purposes, I don’t know each and every one of them, but I believe that one purpose is clearly stated in the preface of his book, i.e. to demonstrate how the world of modern football functions, share his experience and whatnot. If you look at all the criticism, you’ll notice that nobody has countered it with something substantial, and that, I believe, says something.

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