I wonder if Bild was thinking about Confessions of a Shopaholic when they came up with the title of this interview. Sensationalist much? Nevertheless, I enjoyed the article, thus I’d like to share it with you all. Happy reading!
By Felix Seidel
He has just experienced the best three weeks of his career. No other captain has yet lifted up the Bundesliga title, the Champions League title and the DFB-Cup in such a short time.
BILD: Mr. Lahm, how does it feel to already belong in Bayern’s museum at the age of 29?
Lahm: We’re the first German team to win the treble. This is sensational. And that’s why we belong in history books, rightfully so, and to our Bayern World of Adventure at the Allianz Arena.
This sounds like Disneyland, and I so want to go.
BILD: But before that you still want to continue playing football, right?
Lahm: Definitely, because I have a feeling that the treble is a beginning of a great era for Bayern in terms of titles. The whole thing simply comes together: we get another top coach in Pep Guardiola, all the major players are at the superb age and have long-term contracts. Besides, in the past four years we’ve been three times in the Champions League Final and [now] won this major international title.
BILD: You have led the team together with Bastian Schweinsteiger. What’s your relationship with one another?
Lahm: Basti and I played together already in Bayern’s youth team. In the past, it [the relationship] was presented in the public eye as if we didn’t get along. That’s not true. But this season we definitely worked together as good as never before. We understand each other very, very well. That’s also connected to losing the Champions League Final against Chelsea.
I never knew that the media had presented their relationship in a negative light. Just because you don’t party together doesn’t mean you don’t get along.
BILD: How so?
Lahm: When you grieve together in such a crushing situation and, thus, are able to come to terms with this experience, sharing it, then it welds you together. In particular, that was the case with Basti and I. Already back then we were the captains. Ever since, we have been calling each other even more often, have been texting each other on a regular basis.
BILD: Just like Schweinsteiger, you had to put up with criticism pertaining to your leadership style. In what way were you strengthened in your leadership thinking by the season’s success?
Lahm: For me, the treble is a confirmation of my and our personal leadership style. According to the motto: the way of leadership that I consider to be right also leads to a great success. That doesn’t mean that another way of leading can’t be successful. But I’ve been also told once that my interpretation of a captain’s role, above all when it comes to the international stage, wouldn’t lead to a very great triumph. That’s clearly refuted now.
I can’t tell you how much I wanted to shove this down the haters’ throat. (A bit aggressive on my part, right? Well, it is what it is.) This made me, to a certain degree, happier than the win itself. I still can’t fathom how some people aren’t able to understand that reorganizing the team, adjusting and even changing its style of play – that’s exactly what it was – takes time. It takes time. Not to mention the right reinforcement in the person of Martinez, Dante, etc., as well as the right coach. And I still can’t understand how it is possible to look at the same style of leadership in other successful teams and say that it cannot work.
The fact that Lahm’s style prevailed makes me almost as happy as winning a bunch of money would. What interests me, though, is when and if the doubters will admit they were wrong.
BILD: You probably would’ve had it easier if you had gone to FC Barcelona in 2008. There was an opportunity. Are you happy with the way your career has been going afterwards?
Lahm: I have always seen that we at Bayern have all the prerequisites for a great triumph. For me, it’s nicer to win the Champions League with my home club than with some other club. This is what I always wanted. And that’s the reason why I’ve never gone [anywhere]. The fact that it’s worked out with regard to winning the Champions League and even the treble is heavenly and perfect.
He has not just seen it: he has said it, too.
BILD: How do you reward yourself?
Lahm: As we got back to Munich after winning the Champions League, I got all players in the locker room to sign my jersey. This is a nice souvenir. It’s something that I’ll keep for the rest of my life. Perhaps one day my son, Julian, will also be happy to hold it in his hands.
Endearing and very team-like.
BILD: You won against Dortmund in the final. How much does the German success in the Champions League heighten the pressure on the National Team of succeeding at the World Cup 2014 in Brasil?
Lahm: When you reach the semi-final, at the least, at the last few tournaments, then you already considered one of the favorites. The pressure on the National Team to definitely win the title is, therefore, remained the same. I believe that our going-in position has been improved even more by the German success because every player benefits from playing the Champions League Final. This experience takes each player of the National Team even further and gives additional confidence.
(© translation unavis)