Here is the last part of the interview.
FR: Let’s talk about power. You are the most powerful football player in Germany since you lead the National Team and the most important club. Do you lead both teams in the same way?
Lahm: Essentially, yes, and speaking of which, one must say: we lead together.
FR: You and Bastian Schweinsteiger?
Lahm: Yes. We do it together. I, for one, like to express my opinion. I want my opinion to matter. I enjoy making decisions together, and the enjoyment is a basic requirement in football. If it wasn’t there any longer, I would give up the job. In that regard, it is interesting that both Bastian and I didn’t play against Netherlands.
FR: Germany won 3:0
Lahm: Yes. I sat on the couch at home and was tremendously happy about how great the game was.
FR: You could also be happy because you can be sure of your permanent place on the team.
Lahm: That’s true, one wants to be in. But I also know that I’m 28, and the next generation is already here: Kroos, Götze, Müller, Schürrle. It’s already a whole new generation. I have already been the oldest player on the pitch in three matches. So, one looks at himself and thinks, “That’s funny, how fast did it happen?”
FR: Then, what is so different about the new generation?
Lahm: These are different types of players.
FR: How are they different?
Lahm: In terms of technique, they are very, very strong.
FR: So are you.
Lahm: They are creative.
FR: So are you.
Lahm: Yes, but perhaps, in a different way, in a way that comes with less easiness.
FR: You, as captain, embody the change of paradigm. In the past, there were top dogs and screamers as Kahn.
Lahm: I have also learned a lot from Oliver Kahn. How ambitious he was when training. Apart from that, a flat hierarchy also means that there is a hierarchy. When there is no hierarchy, you have lost. But today I can no longer scream at a young player if he has made a mistake. That I don’t do. Then he immediately thinks, “What does the old man want from me?” I have to behave naturally. I lead as I, myself, am. In that manner, I do it together with Bastian. And at the moment, we are at the top of hierarchy.
FR: Will you speak with Michael Ballack again?
Lahm: Why should we do that?
FR: The way in which you replaced him as the captain has produced headlines for months.
Lahm: I believe that our relationship has been portrayed in public worse than it actually is.
FR: Then it would be easier to meet.
Lahm: There is no reason for it. We have already greeted each other on the pitch in a completely normal way. It is a normal relationship between colleagues.