Lahm In Interview To “Frankfurter Rundschau”: Part I

I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of Frankfurter Rundschau when it comes to reading articles about Lahm. Of course, nothing is perfect and/or positive all the time, but sometimes they are too eager to jump on the Lahm-hate bandwagon. I do, however, thank them for interviewing him. As a matter of fact, there is another version of the interview. Before writing this post, I have compared both versions, and the second one seems to be more on a “I-publish-what-I-choose” side. In other words, they did cut short some of his answers. Moreover, two or three questions were not even included. Interesting how the media works, isn’t it? Thus, I am going with the one in Frankfurter Rundschau, and I cannot leave some of the things without commenting on them.

Football Is Like A Fight Of Gladiators

In the interview, Lahm speaks about the frenzy, power, and the lack of it on the pitch. And the captain of the National Team and FC Bayern clarifies why he would not advise any professional football player who is gay to come out.

Alright. What is it with advising? Find another word, people. Please.

After the interview, as the photographer wants to take another, a bit more unusual, photo of Lahm, the latter looks skeptical at first. The picture should provide an unaccustomed look at the captain of the National Team, since it would show him as a projection between a light and shadows. He would have to be photographed in a dark room with only a flashlight under his face.

Lahm continues to look skeptical but then agrees. So, he stands there, in a tool shed on the training ground of FC Bayern on Säbener street, allowing to be photographed in the darkness. That fits the 28-year-old who, from time to time, does things that one wouldn’t expect from him: for example, when he criticized several former coaches in his book The Subtle Difference: How To Become A Top Athlete Today. As to the sport, he is currently at the peak of his career:  Lahm has recently been named the best defender in the Bundesliga by the Kicker magazine.

I have to give props to the photographer. I would definitely like to see those pictures, and I like the idea. I wonder, though, if they turned out alright since there is no sign of them. However, they should learn to get their facts right. In particular, the title of his book is not about how to become a top athlete: it is about how to become a top football player. Those are different things, as far as I am concerned. (Also, he’s been named the best defender in the Bundesliga based only on the result of the first half of this season.)

FR: Mr. Lahm, you write in your book that at home all hell broke loose if you lost while playing ludo. What was it like?

Lahm: In that case, it was possible that the edge of the board discreetly slid more and more towards me until I would hit it from underneath and sent all the tokens flying in the air.

FR: Are you a party pooper (killjoy)?

Lahm: I simply cannot lose. It’s the same when I play tennis. And when it happens, for example in a match against a friend, he already knows that in the next five minutes I won’t talk to him. First, I have to cope with the defeat because I can’t bear when the one, who has inflicted on me, sits next me immediately after as if nothing happened. But neither is it that bad: I never take it [the anger, etc.] out on anyone after having been defeated.

FR: Can people learn to deal with a defeat?

Lahm: Yes, but I find it really difficult. If it had been easy for me, I would have never become a top athlete. Every athlete has this in him – the urge to win. Otherwise, you can’t come that far. With my first football team, FT Gern, in the beginning I was only losing. As a matter of fact, quite often. With the Bayern youth team, we mostly won. 8:0, 10:0, 9:1. So, I learned how to lose at FT Gern, not at Bayern.

These three questions explain why he behaves the way he does on the pitch and why he reacts the way he reacts. People should take notice.

FR: You write about the feeling of happiness when you stand on the pitch and “the brain’s cortex releases endorphin.” Are you a football junkie?

Lahm: Absolutely. Especially before games in the Champions League, I become a junkie. You sit on a bus, it’s already dark outside. You see the stadium, it appears before you as if it would burn. Then you go in, and it sends shivers down your spine. If you’ve experienced it once, you want to experience that again.

Beautifully said.

FR: The manager of the National Team, Oliver Bierhoff, has said that one basically would have to take drugs to deal with the exhilaration after such games, to be alone in a hotel room. Can you relate to that?

Lahm: Sort of. It’s hard for me to fall asleep after those games. You are too worked up.

FR: In that case, what do you do?

Lahm: At home, I turn the TV on and watch it aimlessly. When I’m away, after the Champions League games, I just have a massage. The physiotherapists also can’t fall asleep right away, and so we use the time more wisely.

FR: For a long time, you have been the favorite son-in-law of every mom. After the publication of your book, you became “the egoist”, “the rule-breaker”. Which of the two public perceptions annoys you more – that of “the softies”, or that of “the dissers”?

Lahm: Those who have really read my book quickly notice that it’s a well-written book. I was mainly interested in showing what the modern football is made of, how it’s going for somebody [who is in that world]. I believe that we have done it very well. That’s why, at first, I was surprised by the very strong reactions. It even went as far as questioning whether or not I should remain the captain of the National Team. I didn’t reveal any inside information, and I didn’t want to attack anyone personally. 

FR: Rudi Völler doesn’t come off that great, as you write about his simple training methods, the lack of discussions about tactics. Have you spoken to him since?

Lahm: We’ll cross paths someday, and then we’ll talk about it. I didn’t like the shortened version of his portrait in the reports.

FR: He helped you to have a debut in the National Team.

Lahm: In the book, it repeatedly says, “Thank you, coach.” I’ve simply described a time in which he was a coach of the National Team. And so it was back then, just as there was no video analysis. I have described how everything has evolved in recent years.

(translation © unavis)

Part II coming up…



  1. […] to Frankfurter Rundschau a couple of days ago, which can also be found in the second part of  this interview (the second part is coming up, I promise.) I have translated it as part of the Focus Online […]

  2. […] I must apologize for such a long delay, but here it is. (The first part can be found here.) […]

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