Lahm leads the way

World Soccer - - Special Feature -

Philipp Lahm cap­tained Ger­many to vic­tory at the 2014 World Cup and will be in­vest­ing sim­i­lar tire­less en­er­gies in head­ing Ger­many’s host­ing of Euro 2024.

Lahm scored five goals in 113 ap­pear­ances for Ger­many be­tween 2004 and 2014 . He claimed 21 na­tional and in­ter­na­tional tro­phies with Bay­ern Mu­nich and only last year was voted Foot­baller of the Year.

A proven win­ner and a man on a mis­sion, Lahm says: “We are a coun­try which is well pre­pared to put on spe­cial events. We are a foot­ball na­tion. We have all the in­fra­struc­ture and we are an ex­tremely hos­pitable na­tion – as we showed in 2006.”

The word “prepa­ra­tion” is a re­cur­ring theme with Lahm, not only as re­gards the bids but in terms of his own ca­reer and his de­ci­sion to re­tire, hav­ing seen enough vet­eran play­ers slide aim­lessly and sadly down the leagues and in far-dis­tant coun­tries.

“Ev­ery­thing for me is about prepa­ra­tion; the same as when I was a player,” says the 34-year-old. “So I pre­pared my­self for the end of my foot­ball ca­reer and for my life af­ter­wards.

“Then along came this won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity with Euro 2024. Ev­ery­one here has such great mem­o­ries of how the coun­try came to­gether in 2006. Foot­ball unites all dif­fer­ent peo­ples. I ex­pe­ri­enced this as a player in 2006 and now we all want an­other sum­mer here in Ger­many like that one.”

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