Philipp Lahm was born 11 November 1983; he is a German professional footballer who plays as a right back or defensive midfielder for Bundesliga club Bayern Munich.

He is the captain of his club, having skippered them to numerous honours including the 2013 UEFA Champions League as part of the Treble. He is also a former captain of his national team, which he led to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, before retiring from international football.

Lahm developed into a professional football player within the Bayern Munich Junior Team. He joined the team at the age of 11 after a youth coach, Jan Pienta, had scouted him several times while he was playing for the local youth team in his hometown Gern, Munich. He was already considered very talented; one of his coaches, Hermann Hummels, even stated that “If Philipp Lahm will not make it in the Bundesliga, nobody will anymore.” He twice won the Bundesliga youth title, the second time as captain of his team, and then was introduced into the B team at the age of 17.

His former amateur coach Hermann Gerland considers Lahm to be the most talented player he has ever coached and made him the captain of the B team during his second season. Up to this point Lahm played as a defensive midfielder, right midfielder or right full-back.

Lahm is considered by many to be one of the best full backs of his generation, and was included in the World Cup team of the tournament in 2006, 2010, and 2014, and the UEFA Team of the Tournament in 2008 and 2012 and in the UEFA Team of the Year 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Although Lahm is right-footed, he is able to play on both sides of the pitch, due to his tactical intelligence and versatility. He often cuts from the flank to the inside of the pitch to either shoot and/or pass. In particular, he is renowned for his pace, technique, stamina, and precise tackling abilities, as well as his small stature, which earned him the nickname the “Magic Dwarf”.

Lahm is known as a private person who maintains a low-profile outside of football; his best friend Andreas Ottl was the only footballer present at his wedding to Claudia Schattenberg. The couple have a son, Julian. A Munich native, Lahm was a lifelong Bayern fan and served as a ball boy at the Olympic Stadium.

In 2008, Lahm was chosen as the left back for the FIFA Team of the Year, winning the election ahead of Manchester United left back Patrice Evra by 2% of the given votes.

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I had the honor to interview our chancellor Angela Merkel, just before the 2017 parliamentary elections. Thank you for the stimulating conversation!
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