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Lahm: 'I have so many fantastic memories of 2006'

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Lahm: 'I have so many fantastic memories of 2006'

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Dec 29, 2006 9:00 pm


Philipp Lahm went to the cinema with Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski recently, although this was not just any old night out at the movies. The trio were star guests at a special showing of Sönke Wortmann's 2006 World Cup retrospective, "Germany: a summer fairy tale", laid on for a group of thrilled Munich school kids. Lahm clearly cannot get enough of the film in which he is also one of the leading lights. "I've already seen it four times," the Bayern starlet revealed.

The World Cup was unquestionably a rip-roaring success for Germany's youthful stars, but Lahm's fairy tale fundamentally extended to cover the whole of 2006. The player, who is spending the festive season in the company of his closest family and friends, will inevitably see the turn of the year as a time to reflect on a momentous 12 months in his stellar footballing career. "Overall, it's just been a tremendous year. I'll always look back on it with real fondness," he told <b></b>.

<b>Outstanding World Cup</b>

The Munich-born defender helped Bayern seal a second successive domestic double in April and May. "Those were my first winners' medals as a senior player," he recalled. August saw him open his Bundesliga scoring account for Germany's most successful club, "and that was a fabulous feeling, coming just after a sensational World Cup on home soil." Lahm curled home the first goal of the tournament in the Opening Match, sparking a month of unbounded emotion and passion for the game in the host country.

"I have so many fantastic memories," the player declared with almost childlike wonder. "And it's not just connected to the football, it was everything else going on at the time too. The atmosphere in Germany was just astonishing, it was unique." In a series of displays ranging from good to exceptional – "he was one of Germany's outstanding players," according to Uli Hoeneß – Lahm made a massive contribution to Jurgen Klinsmann's side claiming third place at the event.

<b>Hard to adjust</b>

Lahm had just three weeks to recover from his summer exertions. "I only had a short holiday, and almost no pre-season. The Bundesliga restarted ten days after I reported back for training. It was incredibly tough," Lahm acknowledged after a tricky start to the new term.

The World Cup had taken its toll, both physically and mentally. "Everything was quite hard after that. We were so totally focused on the tournament and our goal of winning the World Cup," the 22-year-old remarked. Lahm had even undergone surgery on an elbow injury just days before the Opening Match, and contested the first few games wearing a cast.

<b>Sixty matches in a year</b>

"Those were seven brutal weeks, largely due to the pressure and expectations from having the World Cup here at home," he reported. No fewer than eleven of the Bayern first team were battling similar post-World Cup symptoms, and the champions consequently rarely hit peak form in the autumn. "We always knew the first half of the season would be tough, because of the World Cup and a very brief pre-season," the left-back mused.

The player remains satisfied with his club's performance so far, the unlucky Cup exit to Aachen aside. "It went very well in the Champions League, and we're only three points off the lead in the Bundesliga," commented Lahm, after a calendar year in which he made no fewer than 60 competitive appearances (33 in the Bundesliga, 6 in the DFB Cup, 6 in the Champions League and 15 full internationals).

<b>All the way to Athens?</b>

Lahm will spend the time until training resumes on 4 January recharging his batteries in preparation for the second half of the campaign. "It'll be different compared to last summer. We'll use a full mid-season training period to get ready for the challenges ahead. Our target remains winning the German championship, and we have our ambitions in the Champions League too." Philipp Lahm is far from tired of fairy tales just yet.
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