With everything that takes most of my time these days, I find it difficult to resist the urge to just drop my routine and, instead, simply write about Lahm. It seems to me almost impossible to be somewhere in between. That is to say that I find it hard to not be one hundred percent committed to writing about him. It is one of those things that make you feel like either you are in or you are out. Philipp resembles a separate world, and it is difficult to grasp the whole thing at once. *smile*
Somewhat lyrical introduction, I agree, but that is how I feel about writing this post pertaining to Lahm’s interview on HR2-Kultur radio. In a nutshell, we are talking here about an hour-long conversation that was simply a pleasure to listen to. This is the thing: it is always interesting to find out what Lahm has to say. But when he is given a chance to elaborate on this thoughts, that is when I, at least, feel like he takes it to another level. Granted, post-match interviews cannot be as long as this one, which makes it hard to dive into his thoughts. It is in interviews like this one that we can appreciate even more his intelligence and his eloquence. Perhaps, it is a rather dull comparison, but imagine a room with one door. You open that door, come in, and suddenly realize that there are two other doors inside. You open one of them and see three more. You go back to the first room and open the second door only to discover that there are, again, three more. In total, you have six new doors that you might want to open. And the process continues. That is how I feel about the way Lahm speaks in these interviews: he shares his thoughts on various topics and elaborates, and it really gives a whole new perspective on things. He goes left, right, forward, back, and I find myself wanting to know more. (It is also important, of course, to have an interviewer who is able to lead the discussion and make it interesting, too.)
To listen to the interview. There is also a possibility of downloading it if any of you are interested in doing so. The interview was recorded in August but aired in September. They called him a “troublemaker” in their announcement, which made me laugh. In addition, the following served as a written introduction:
With the greatest class, but also with intelligence and eloquence, Philipp Lahm has become one of the most influential German players.
It’s not for nothing that he holds two important offices, that of the captain of FC Bayern Munich and the captain of the German National Team. And he has courage to provoke, as the reaction to his sensational book has recently demonstrated. Philipp Lahm is simply a professional football player who even after the end of a match remains a remarkable figure. (my translation)
Oh, yes. Most definitely.
It is possible that I might add some details later on because there is just too much to say. For now, I am not going to write a transcript but am going to just give a
very brief overview. I have tried to be as precise as possible in getting the main point across:
– The interviewer starts with an image depicting Lahm after the National Team lost to Spain at the World Cup 2010. In particular, he points out that the reason for Lahm’s disappointment does not seem to be losing per se, but rather a thought that such an opportunity is gone. Lahm answers that he is somebody who wants to win and cannot really lose, as in he can accept that another team is better, but saying that he knows how to lose is a bit of a stretch.
– Philipp notes that it is great to have young players in their team. That makes him happy. It does sounds a bit strange to him to hear that he is now one of the oldest players on the pitch. He says that a career in football goes by fast, and the time will come for him to say goodbye to it, just like for everyone else.
– Lahm talks about playing against Spain at the European Championship 2008, in particular the episode involving Torres, which led to Spain scoring a goal. The interviewer mentions that, in his book, Philipp describes the event with a bit of irony. Lahm asnwers that he regards it as a learning experience because things like that happen. Those one-on-one situations can teach you something. The interviewer wants to know what Lahm would have done differently. Philipp says that he should have continued to run to clear the ball, without changing his tempo, even though it was for several seconds, regardless of the fact that Lehmann came out to grab it. He also talks about brushing against Torres’ shoulder and being a bit destabilized by that. The positive aspect in all of that, according to Philipp, is that they did not let Spain to create many chances, and who knows what would have happened if it had not been for that mistake.
– Some of his best experiences are linked to playing with professionals for the first time at the Olympia Stadium, participating in the World Cup 2006 at home, and playing in the Champions League final in 2010.
– He likes Austrian pop (music). One of the songs he requests is called Weus’d a Herz host wia a Bergwerk by Rainhard Fendrich. The song played at his wedding because both he and Claudia like it. (my note: in fact, he has mentioned it several times before this interview. He seems to really like it. The translation of the lyrics can be found here. I remember hearing it for the first time a while ago, and my reaction was not favorable at all. I thought, “Oh my goodness… Philipp, really?” But after listening to it again, I am starting to warm up to it. It has beautiful lyrics. A truly touching song.) I believe it says a lot about Philipp. Not only does he like it, but he also says it like that, bluntly, and he points out that he likes the lyrics very much.
– Lahm corrected the interviewer twice, i.e. about the date when his foundation was “born” and that of preparations for the European Championship 2004.
– The interviewer pointed to Philipp’s courage that he demonstrated in 2009 with the interview and, again, in the K-Frage (the captaincy question in 2010). With regard to the 2009 interview, Lahm said he did not offend/criticize anyone personally. (my note: that is true) He also said that it was the right thing to do at the time. (my note: I second that)
– The interviewer emphasized Philipp’s eloquence twice.
– Lahm is asked about his coaches, so he talks about Louis van Gaal’s somewhat authoritarian regime (I have mentioned it here) but also mentions his system and how it was good for Bayern. In addition, Lahm mentions Klinsmann and Löw, saying that Löw worked with them on the defensive tactics. In particular, he says that when Klinsmann and Löw came (to the National Team), they immediately started to explain to their players how to act in the offense, in the defense, and so on. Finally, he asserts that Klinsmann’s emphasis on fitness was not enough for Bayern to win. Also, coaches come and go, and that is normal.
– Lahm believes that it is very important, for a football player, to have a good manager. According to him, it is important to have somebody who can give you an advice when you are 17, 18 years old. He says that his manager is not only there to deal with contracts and money like some managers do. He is lucky to have somebody who was his coach at one point in time, who shares his views on football. His manager is somebody who flew to the USA with Lahm when the latter had an injury. (my note: it was in 2005) The bottom line: it is good when a person, who advises you, is somebody with whom you have a close relationship.
– He is asked about his foundation, as well as about homosexuality in professional football. Lahm once again points out that the situation in the music industry and politics is different. He says it is hard to play in front of so many spectators, when you do not know how the crowd will behave, when that very crowd comes to see their team win and can do anything to make that happen. He also mentions that one does not know how his team will react to such news. He believes it is very unfortunate, “absolute schade” to quote Lahm, that the society is not as developed as he would like it to be.
– The second song he requests is called Ein Kompliment by Sportfreunde Stiller. This band performs at the events pertaining to Lahm’s foundation, too. Once again, Lahm puts an emphasis on the lyrics. (my note: oh man, this guy, i.e. Lahm, is amazing. And I liked this song)
The following is the part I liked the most:
1. The question: why doesn’t he want to play in another country (for FC Barcelona, etc.), learn another language, other customs, learn about another football system? Isn’t it rather defensive on his part to not take a chance?
“It can be defensive. I am a full-back, so perhaps that’s what it is (laughs).” He says that he likes to have his family and friends close to him, he likes this feeling of home, he needs it. And that is what he gets in Munich as somebody who was born there, but also the club gives him that feeling. He points out that they are not talking about a top-level club and some other club. Bayern plays in the Champions League, etc., so it is a top-level club. He says, “Last year, Real Madrid, for example, did not win the Champions League either.” Not to mention that the club knows him because he has been there for 11 years now. “They knew me when I was little – I never became big (laughs) – when I was young, and it would be great to win the Champions League with FC Bayern, with my club. There is no reason for me to give up this feeling, this home. No way.”
The interviewer thanks him for a very clear answer. Lahm laughs and says, “Thank you.”
I love his wit! The two quotes in orange are ones of the best I have ever heard. *laugh* I put in bold letters “my” because of the way he says it. One can hear that he has so much tenderness in his voice when he speaks of the club. Even if you do not speak German, listen to the recording around the 27th+ minute. You will hear how he says “mit meinem Verein” (with my club), putting an emphasis on “meinem”. This is something that impressed me right away when I was listening to it the first time around. And, of course, I loved how the interviewer praised the clarity of his answer.
However the interviewer says that all those who went abroad at some point have brought back something new and enhanced the football in Germany. Philipp believes it can be nice, and, certainly, it means new language, new type of football, new experience for players like Mesut (Özil) and Sami (Khedira), who went to Real Madrid. He says he is happy for them, but he, himself, is happy at FC Bayern.
2. Near the end, the journalist points out that not only does Philipp have a lot to tell about football, but also about a theoretical and tactical aspect of it, and that he could probably qualify as a coach. He wonders if that is something of interest to Lahm. (This is exactly what I think! I believe he has a potential of becoming a good coach.)
Lahm says that he still has a 5-year contract with Bayern and that it is difficult to say what will happen in those five years. 5 years is a long period of time in football. He says that he really loves football, has fun working/being in this domain, and that he likes to learn something new about strategies/tactics. There is no doubt that it will guide his choices after the end of his career. With a smile that one can hear in his voice, he mentions there are a couple of job openings in the second Bundesliga, and whether his path will lead to exactly that is another question. But working in the domain of football after the end of his career is, for him, absolutely certain.
– Finally, the third song he requests is called Großvater (grandfather) by STS. Again, he says that the lyrics are good, although it is a sad song. And he loves his grandpa, too.
Even though I woke up at 5 in the morning to listen to this interview, I did not regret it. I enjoyed it immensely, and I wish they spoke for another hour or so. Being invited to talk on “Kultur” (culture) radio says a lot, if you ask me. Think about it for a second. And Philipp, it seems, had a great time.
PS.: if any of you native speakers wish to correct some of the points I wrote about, go ahead. I would not mind at all. *smile*