Lahm wants to keep German captaincy

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Photo by Steve Bardens/ISIphotos.com

Not all is as smooth as it looks for the German national team.

Days after Germany dismantled Argentina to reach the World Cup semifinal, defender Philipp Lahm has told a German publication that he wishes to keep the captaincy regardless of Michael Ballack's pending return to the team.

Lahm was given the captain's armband by coach Joachim Loew after Ballack, the longtime captain, was injured playing for Chelsea in the FA Cup final and ruled out of the World Cup. Ballack has since signed with Bayer Leverkusen and has watched the World Cup from the stands.

Lahm, the 26-year-old fullback, and the whole German team have excelled without Ballack during the tournament, making some wonder if they are better off without him.

What do you make of Lahm's statements? Do you think Germany is better off without Ballack? Should Lahm be the captain for the long haul? Do you think this will have any effect on the outcome of Wednesday's match against Spain?

Share your thoughts below.

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14 Responses to Lahm wants to keep German captaincy

  1. Oliver Kiel says:

    I think it’s not a big deal since Ballack probably won’t see a lot more action with the national team. Though he probably should have waited until after the World Cup.

  2. I don’t think Lahm is out of line. Who wouldn’t want to remain as captain?

    As for the “Better off without Ballack” debate, it would be difficult to argue that the German team has looked much better than expected without Ballack. I don’t know if that really has as much to do with Ballack not being there as it has to do with the emergence of some very high quality young talent.

    I think everyone who knew the Germans knew that Bastian Schweinsteiger would easily be able to fill Ballack’s shoes in the midfield. And that’s been proven in spades. Schweinsteiger has been an absolute rock for the Germans, someone who can maintain possession under lots of pressure and provide clean distribution throughout their offense. (Frankly, I thought that Schweinsteiger, not Lahm, should have been captain)

    All that said: Schweinsteiger won’t be as effective if he doesn’t have good talent to distribute to. The emergence of Ozil and Mueller is more significant than Ballack’s absence.

  3. Missoula says:

    Although I don’t like it when players go to the media about stuff like this, I agree that Lahm should remain captain. Germany appears to be a more dynamic team without Ballack in the starting lineup.

  4. Thomas says:

    Ballack hasn’t been the same since he went to Chelsea. Their style never really fit him or allowed him the freedom he thrives on. With Lampard, they already had a two way midfielder to make late runs into the box.

    Man U would’ve been a much better fit for him. He’s wasted 3 years playing in a way that doesn’t suit him as a player…but he’s a lot richer. Go quietly into that good night sir.

  5. Josh says:

    Ballack’s days with the national team should be numbered now. He’ll be too old for the next WC cycle, and it looks like the team has passed him by.

    In defense of Ballack, he’s easily the best German player of his generation, and he carried that team for a long time, but at his age, and with his style of play, I don’t think he’s suited to the new phase that German football has entered. No knock on him–it’s just that times (and tactics) have changed.

    My guess is that Ballack gets a few friendlies with the captaincy and then relinquishes it to Lahm so everybody can save face.

  6. Paul says:

    This strikes me as a typical off-day story that signifies nothing. Who wouldn’t want to stay on as captain of his national side? The question of whether they’re better without Ballack is purely academic at this point, but it cannot be denied that the team has looked quite impressive without him. The only way this might affect the team is if Ballack or some current members of the squad publicly oppose Lahm, but I don’t see that happening.

  7. teds says:

    lahm should remain captain. ballack should stay off the team and go back to making ridiculous criticisms of arsenal.

  8. Dima says:

    Slow not soccer day for now. Ballack should sign with Liverpool or the Red Bulls. He might be a perfect candidate for the MLS. Maybe over the hill after the 3 year Leverkusen deal expires. Lahm should stay as captain, if not him then Schweinsteiger

  9. Rusty says:

    As a fan of Spain, I say Lahm should protect his captaincy with all vigor.

  10. Dinho says:

    I would have rather seen Alexis Lalas come out of retirement and play for United than Ballack. Who needs a whiny, dirty player like him…clearly Chelsea don’t. Nor does Germany.

  11. neill says:

    I have hard time imagining Germany getting to the semi-finals with Ballack in the starting lineup. Ozil has been sensational.

  12. DC Josh says:

    Wow. I never knew Lahm was so young. If Germany wins the World Cup, there is no debate as to whether or not he should retain the captaincy. But when they lose to Spain tomorrow, let the debate begin.

  13. Micah King says:

    Germany is not going to lose to Spain. Villa is the only forward they have in form Torres is horrible. I too wondered was it just me or is Germany better without Ballack. I think they are Balack is slower and slows the play down.

  14. wally says:

    The captain, if anything, should be press savvy, which I guess Lahm isn’t. The comment will probably blow over, but it could easily transform into a distracting side story and potential war of words with Ballack. Totally uneccessary and egotistical comment.. If I’m Loew I pull Lahm aside and give him an earfull.