Initially, I had been planning on writing this post prior to the match last Friday, but, as you can gather, that did not happen. As part of the celebration, many articles had been written, and I took a look at as many of them as possible, paying attention to what people thought was worth of mentioning and, above all, how they presented it. Some points were repeated, indeed, for the 100th time. Hence, I am going to do a mini-review of the press because, in my opinion, it’s quite interesting. In addition, I will quote my favorite passages in a separate post.
The three things mentioned in 9 articles out of 10:
1. His first match for the National Team. I’m sure that now even non-fans are aware of when and where Lahm’s debut for the NT took place.
2. The K-Frage. If there was a book on German football history, like a history textbook of sorts, I am sure there would be a section on the Football Revolution 2010, that year when Lahm, with all his might, took the captaincy from Ballack and
logically declined refused to give it back. I mean, he even kept it in a safe, for Pete’s sake!
3. The Book. In 2011, the second revolution happened, and all because of the fact that Lahm “wrote” a book. It felt as if the football world would never be the same. (However, that apparently encouraged other revolutionaries, such as Zlatan Imbrahimovic, who, being an active player, just released his autobiography. From an excerpt that I’ve read, it’s about “me, me, me, and how it was bad for me here and there”. And let me tell you that this is way different from Lahm’s approach, but I digress.)
The last two things had already been discussed in great detail. Nevertheless, people thought it would be such a great idea to emphasize them. Again.
While considering Friday’s press conference, some newspapers pointed out that Lahm answered several questions in a very routine way, in that there was no surprise in his answers. Well, let me tell you this: the questions were not surprising! They asked him about what his greatest memories and his greatest disappointments had been so far. In all honesty…
One reporter marveled at how young Lahm still looks. (I’m not sure if they’ve gotten the memo, but Lahm is just 29 years old, not 60. Okay, okay, I’m nitpicking, I know what they mean.) He also began by discussing Lahm’s haircut and his t-shirt. Another thing brought up to the reader’s attention by several journalists was Guardiola’s words on Lahm’s intelligence. Frankly, I do not understand why everyone seems to be caught off guard by that statement of his, especially the gasps, “He put him even above Messi!” I mean, surely, Messi is a greater dribbler and technically stronger, but that does not automatically mean he’s very intelligent, whether on or off the pitch. (I do not intend on offending anyone, but can’t grasp the logic.)
Others talked about how fun and relaxed Lahm was at the press conference, trying to convince their readers that they had never seen this side of him. I beg to differ. I have not been to any of his press conferences, but I have listened to and watched many of them. And that certainly was not the first time he smiled or made jokes. Moreover, Lahm has a dry sense of humor, so when he does make fun of himself or others, when he does give a witty answer, it might not be obvious right away and not to everyone. Hence, once again I was not sure what all the hype was about, at the same time being a bit disappointed by the fact that some had glanced over this side of his until that press conference. However, because of all this omg-he-smiles euphoria, one article in particular caught my attention:
The title: “The Model Student Takes Off The Mask” (Do you sense the tone?)
The body of the article: the reporter mentioned all the necessary things, stating that we’d never seen Lahm having so much fun, never in his international career. (Sounds absurd, but some of us do not pay close attention or any attention whatsoever.) Mr. Horeni believes that Lahm is similar to a model student (model football professional), in that not only does he play very well, but also speaks in a manner that doesn’t rub people the wrong way because “everything always sounds so correct, serious, and well-tempered.” (Now, to me, that sounds like Mr. Horeni is annoyed, which is not very professional.)
And then came the quote:
It was as if Lahm took off the mask, and for a moment, we got a glimpse of a likeable German captain who, in addition to his football intelligence, has a sense of humor and [can be] self-ironic. (my translation)
That is a great sentence because it manages to insult in just several words. (I would elaborate if someone wanted to hear my reasons.) While reading this, I wondered who the author was. As soon as I saw the photo next to the article, I knew. His name did not ring a bell, but I remember his face, and I remember how at one of the press conferences his question didn’t get a reply from Lahm that Mr. Horeni so desired. I also remember how he, then, published an article “punching” Lahm. It looks like he still cannot get over that one moment. Tough life, Mr. Horeni, tough life.
Finally, several journalists called Lahm a diplomat, which, in my opinion, is a compliment. From my point of view, it has a touch of admiration to it.