The Trophy Man Set to Retire
The Bayern full-back Lahm will leave behind a career littered with trophies
WhenPhilippLahmannouncedhisinternationalretirementaftercaptainingGermany to the 2014 World Cup, plaudits flooded in his direction from every source imaginable, including the German Chancellor.
Angela Merkel praised the full-back for all he had done to bring glory back to the country, annoucing: “Becoming world champion in football is definitely a team effort but the captain has a lot to do with that. I want to take the opportunity to give him my respect for what he has done for the national team.” Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge went even further, praising Lahm’s character off the pitch as well as his tremendous ability on it.
On Tuesday, Lahm announced his retirement from club football, confirming he would hang up his boots at the end of the season with Bayern Munich.
Like Germany, who regressed after their World Cup triumph, Bayern will find it difficult to replace the 33-year-old who has been indispensible at the club since breaking into the first-team in 2005, playing at right and left-back as well as in defensive midfield as the Bavarians won seven Bundesliga titles in that spell.
For the past decade, Bayern Munich and Philipp Lahm have been synonymous. THE TITLES 1 World Cup 2014 7 Bundesliga 6 DFB Pokal 3 DFB Supercup 1 Champions League 1 UEFA Super Cup 1 FIFA Club World Cup However, he has been at the club even longer, joining as an 11-year-old way back in 1995. Since his league debut in 2005, Bayern Munich have had nine managers, but one thing remained constant: Lahm, who has been a Bundesliga behemoth.
The Munich native has played 338 league gamesfortheclub,winningawhopping233 times as Bayern kept 129 clean sheets.
In that time, he has also popped up with a few goals at the other end, scoring 11 times, and assisting 42 more.
But perhaps most remarkable of all is the fact that Lahm has never been sent off, and picked up just 26 yellow cards in the 11-anda-half years since his breakthrough.
Lahm will retire with a full trophy cabinet,havingwonsevenBundesligatitles,six DFB Pokals, the DFB Ligapokal and three DFBSupercups.AChampionsLeaguewin in 2012-13 was his greatest club achievement, while he also won the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA World Club Cup in 2013.
When choosing full-backs for teams of the year, Lahm was always a contender - he was named in multiple World Cup dream teams, European Championship team of thetournaments,UEFATeamoftheYears, Champions League Team of the Seasons, FIFA World XIs, and much more.
Having played over 500 times for Bayern Munich in all competitions, and 113 times for his international side, Lahm will be very difficult to replace.
BAYERN ‘SURPRISED’ BY TIMING
Bayern Munich says it is “surprised” by Lahm’s decision to announce his retirement on his own. Rummenigge says “until yesterday we assumed that there would be ajointannouncementbyPhilippLahmand Bayern Munich on this decision.” Lahm decided to turn down the vacant role of sporting director at the club. Rummenigge says “we want to make clear that the doors of Bayern Munich will also be open for Philipp in the future.’’