I think he’s had a career that he never dreamt of having when he first became a professional player. A top, top, top player and a top guy is leaving the team. Philipp is an absolute legend of this amazing club. He is and was a fantastic professional, a strong character, fantastic quality, a really humble man. Philipp Lahm’s unique career began at FT Gern when he was 4 years old. I live there or rather my parents still live there. I grew up at the club. At the age of 11, Munich-born Philipp moved to FCB. Bayern were very clever in making me be a ballboy at the Olympiastadion in front of 63,000 spectators. They set out the bait and I bit. And Lahm got his teeth stuck into life as a youth and amateur player at the record champions – under a very special coach.
He was the best player I had had at that point. There was no better player aged 17. I still remember that Hermann Gerland fought very hard for him He hassled Ottmar day and night, insisting: “Ottmar, you have to let him train with the first team You have to give him a chance. He ticks every box you can think of to be a player at Bayern Munich. Now a youngster is coming on for FC Bayern, he turned 19 19 on Monday the 11th of November. A defender, a good man, a man for the future – Philipp Lahm. Nothing was at stake, it was the last group game in the Champions League, Bayern were already eliminated. It was really cold in the Olympiastadion, but for me it was a dream, my first time, even if I was only on for 3 minutes. Hermann came to me and said: ‘You have to send Lahm out on loan, he has to play.’ So then we loaned him to Stuttgart for two years. II had to send him away, I had to give him up. It would have been a waste to have Philipp Lahm playing another year in the third division. On his Bundesliga debut in Stuttgart colours in August 2003, Lahm made an instant impact, playing his part in the goal which put his team 2-0 up against Rostock while also having a chance to score himself. Lahm developed at a frightening speed. After a few months, he made his Germany debut He wasn’t just a key player for his club, but an international and was well on track. It was very good for him to be loaned to Stuttgart, because he grew there; he became a man. It was clear that after two years, after the loan, he’d return and play for FC Bayern München. In November 2005, Lahm made his Bundesliga debut for FCB against Bielefeld He started and played the whole match.
Philipp had really arrived, and with brute force. Lahm quickly became a player Bayern simply couldn’t do without. He netted his first goal in a competitive game for FCB in August 2006 away against Bochum.
His first and only brace in a competitive match came in October 2014, in a league game at home to Werder Bremen. He lifted his first Bundesliga title in his very first campaign for Bayern – the 2005/06 season.
Becoming champions of Germany for the first time was very special. It was my first major trophy so it was certainly a huge moment. Many more titles were to come. In total, Lahm has won the Bundesliga 8 times, the DFB-Pokal 6 times and has amassed every international trophy possible with Bayern: the 2013 Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup, as well as the FIFA Club World Cup were all won with Lahm as captain. A cup encounter against Aachen in January 2011 was the first time he led out FCB wearing the captain’s armband. He is actually, I have to say, almost the perfect captain. He’s a home-grown player, Bavarian, from Munich even. He’s a very intelligent man and it’s fun talking about football with him. Standing a modest 1.7 meters tall, the local boy is a giant in the history of German football. With 113 caps to his name, he was the captain of the national team for a number of years while also playing the role of Joachim Löw’s right-hand man as he led German to World Cup glory in 2014 – a crowning moment. He retired from international football the day after this momentous triumph, but it was a win he had practised back at home years before… Andi Brehme. 1990, the World Cup final. He shot in the bottom right. Right there! Philipp Lahm, from FT Gern to the world’s biggest footballing stages, now leaves a terrific career behind him.
He’s a man of the world – a representative for Germany and FC Bayern.
Above all, however, Philipp Lahm is a world-class footballer, who now deservedly enjoys legend status at FC Bayern. The captain of the treble-winning team of 2013, with over 500 competitive appearances for FCB. In his position, he is still one of the best three defenders in the world today. He was an absolutely world-class player and right back, and still is. The way he gets up and down the touchline, back and forth, back and forth, and still plays superb football. Bravo! Philipp has distinguished himself through his incredible willpower. There aren’t many people who can lead a team as well as Philipp Lahm. He’s had a picture-perfect career. What he’s done for German football and FC Bayern München – you can only take your hat off to him! In Philipp Lahm, an extraordinary leader and an absolute team player at FC Bayern is bowing out.
We’ve always been on the same wavelength Ob beim Karten spielen oder sonst wo. Auf dem Fußballplatz haben wir dann auch
ne Zeit lang auf der gleichen Seite gespielt, whether it was playing cards or anything else. On the pitch, we’ve played on the same side for a long time – for the national team and Bayern. That means we have a special connection. I’ve been by his side for many years and learnt from him. I think we’ve always had a good relationship and had a lot of fun together. I hope that he’ll get so bored that by October he says: ‘Okay, time to put the boots back on.’ Then from January next year, maybe he’ll join us for the training camp. 14 and a half years of professional football, but now the captain has played his final season. Personally, I’m very sad that he’s decided to end his career now, because Bayern will miss him. He was always an important person to talk to for me. We always had a great relationship based on trust. I’ll miss him not only as a player, but also as a person I trusted, that I enjoyed speaking with. Philipp has an unbelievable career behind him and in my opinion, he’s ending a world-class career too soon. I think the fans will miss him, not just me, the staff and the club. The fans will also miss him. Philipp Lahm – Munich through and through, Mia San Mia personified. That’s my hometown, and why I love it! A giant of word football is saying goodbye. All FC Bayern can say is, thank you, Philipp.