Bild has conducted an exclusive interview with Philipp Lahm, so here it is. (Frankly, I am not sure how much exclusivity there is. I would imagine the journalist from Bild was not the only one who asked Philipp for an interview, but, of course, I am happy that there is, indeed, an interview.)
Philipp Lahm in Exclusive Interview: “Without a title, we are not a golden generation.”
The interview conducted by Jörg Althoff.
The caption next the photo says, “The spokesman! Bayern’s captain Philipp Lahm – here right after the end of the training camp in Qatar – sometimes a diplomat, sometimes a harsh critic, most recently in his autobiography ‘The Subtle Difference’.”
Clear text from Philipp Lahm (28)! In his exclusive interview, the captain of Bayern and the German National Team speaks about the pressure of winning a title, the end of his career, and Ballack’s farewell.
Bild: Mr. Lahm, giving a way to imagination and some courage, if you were to start writing a book on July 2nd, what would its title be?
Lahm: I don’t think about the second book at all. July 2nd? I have no idea what is on July 2nd.
Oh, this is classic! *laugh out loud* I know that he is absolutely sincere, but it is funny. It couldn’t have been any better.
Bild: The day after the European Championship final, after the last game of the season.
Lahm: But that’s so far away! Of course, I’m looking forward to the European Championship. There is still a lot that can happen before it starts. The nice thing is that, in the beginning of this year, Bayern still has a chance of winning three titles. One has to create certain conditions in order to win the Bundesliga, the German Cup, the Champions League at home, as well as the European Championship.
Bild: And what are those?
Lahm: At Bayern, just like in the National Team, we have good individual players and a good team. The team spirit predominates, which is very, very important because we can overcome hard times only as a team, and hard times happen once in a while.
Bild: Eight Bayern players, all clearly under the age of 30, are expected to make the EURO-squad. Is the year of 2012 a beginning of the new era?
Lahm: That can be. However, a great era includes international titles. We are aware of that. We have taken third place at the World Cup, second at the European Championship, third at the World Cup. With Bayern, we have made it to the Champions League final. If in the next fours years, while I am a part of it, it doesn’t work out in terms of international titles, one won’t be able to talk about a great era or a golden generation. In that case, I’ll allow to judge me.
Bild: Why only in the next four years?
Lahm: My contract with Bayern will expire in 2016. At that time I will be 32.
They could not figure it out themselves?
Bild: Until then, do you think you’ll be able to participate in every game in both, Bayern and the National Team, just like you have done it lately?
Lahm: I hope I can do that for as long as possible. Eventually, I will have to give up my position to someone who is better than me. I must accept that, I know that too.
Bild: Are those thoughts of leaving all of a sudden?
Lahm: No, not all. At the moment, I just can’t imagine that I will still be playing football in my mid-thirties.
What kind of question is that? Honestly…
Bild: Why not?
Lahm: Everything has moved forward. Earlier, one said that the best age for a football player was from 27 to 31 years old. There were more players who were 32, 33, 35 years old. Today a 25-year-old person is already in his best age as a football professional. The whole youth training has become more professional, the load is greater. One starts sooner at a higher level. In German football, there have never been so many young and good players as there are now. There are, of course, exceptions. [To see that], it would suffice to look at what a great shape Miro Klose is in while at Lazio.
Bild: Have you put an end to your dream of moving abroad?
Lahm: I haven’t played with that idea anymore. My best football years are NOW and in the next two years. Sure, one says, “Never say never.” But at the moment, there is no reason for me to change anything here.
I feel like they have not read any of his interviews. C’mon! He has said it so many times!
Bild: You’re thinking about finishing your career at Bayern?
Lahm: Why shouldn’t I stay for ever? This is my home, my home club. I can shape the development. We have a chance NOW to be on top for the longer period of time. And after the end of my career, I want to stay true to football in any role whatsoever.
It will be interesting to see. Gooo Philipp!
Bild: How do you evaluate the rapprochement attempt between Jogi Löw and Michael Ballack, your predecessor as captain of the National Team, regarding his farewell?
Lahm: Too bad that everything fell apart in that manner. Michael Ballack is an outstanding player of the National Team. I believe everyone wishes him that his farewell passed off nicely. In the best case scenario, it would be nice if everything was back in order in the end.
Don’t they get tired of asking about it over and over again? It has been a while since then.
Bild: In 2010, Bayern won two titles and got to the Championship League final. Even without Ballack, Germany took third place at the World Cup. Are both teams stronger than two years ago?
Lahm: Yes, that is my opinion. Both teams have continued to evolve. Whether or not that’s enough for a title, we’ll see.
Bild: After the ten convincing victories during the EURO-qualifiers, the fans’ expectations are huge. Taking second place again would be a catastrophe for them…
Lahm: The word “catastrophe” is quite exaggerated. The truth is that none of the players would be too happy with that either. We have the quality to reach the final. However, we’re not the top-favorite. That is Spain, the world- and European champion. But we were closer to them already in the semi-final in 2010 than during the EURO 2008 final. And we have gotten even closer. Just like Bayern has [gotten closer] to Barcelona and Real, who are the favorites in the Champions League.
I think the players disappointment would be greater than that of the fans.
Bild: Will Bayern and Dortmund be, on the one hand, rivals for a title and, at the same time, dominate the National Team like [players from ] Barcelona and Real in Spain?
Lahm: It often happens that the National Team players are from the best clubs. Dortmund has a good team and a good coach. I believe that everything is balanced over there. I view them as the worst competitors. In the coming years, they will always be at the top of the table. As to the National Team, the blocks [of players] can be advantageous because many players train together and play together constantly, so you know one another very well.
Bild: As a player of the National Team, has Marco Reus made a right decision, choosing Dortmund over Bayern?
Lahm: When you make a decision, you have to stand by it. Me too, I have made decisions at times, and I think I have done everything right.
Oh, the brilliance of Philipp Lahm. Great answer!
Bild: Speaking of which, what do you think of this title for a new book: “Against Dortmund – the Champion [in the Bundesliga], with Dortmund – the European Champion.”
Lahm (grinning): That would be wishful thinking.
(translation © unavis)