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Lahm & Schweinsteiger to lead Germany

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Lahm & Schweinsteiger to lead Germany

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri May 28, 2010 3:30 pm

Germany boss Joachim Löw has named Philipp Lahm as team captain for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa in place of the injured Michael Ballack, with Bastian Schweinsteiger as vice-captain. It is the third World Cup in succession to feature a Germany captain drawn from Bayern's ranks.

"Both players are taking on a very, very important role, and a lot of responsibility," said Löw, "both have been outstanding this season, and have fulfilled pivotal roles for the national team in recent years. They've consistently shown they're in a position to shoulder the responsibility."

Youngest World Cup skipper

Lahm will be Germany's youngest-ever captain at the global showdown. The 26-year-old is two months younger than Karl-Heinz Rummenigge at the 1982 finals in Spain, although his 64 caps make him one of the most experienced members of a young Germany squad. Lahm, who has previously captained Bayern and Germany on occasion, will contest his fourth major tournament this summer.

Löw praised the full-back for his consistency, class, tactical nous and organisational awareness. "He thinks hard about the game and is a vital point of contact for me," said Löw, "he cooperates and communicates closely with the coaching staff. I know he gives open and honest feedback."

Schweinsteiger, the second most experienced member of the squad on 73 caps after Miroslav Klose (94), will be what Löw called "the emotional leader" in South Africa. "He's the heart of our engine room. He can inspire the team from midfield."

Leadership role for Klose

Klose himself was "rightly also a candidate for the captaincy," the coach commented. "But he's had a tricky season with limited match practice," Löw advised. Klose's primary goal would be to rediscover peak form, "but he's still important to us, and he'll take on leadership duties. He's not captain, but he's still an important contact for me," said Löw.

Klose, Lahm and Schweinsteiger are also members of the players' council, along with Arne Friedrich and Per Mertesacker. "With Michael Ballack ruled out, the council may well assume a more important role than in the past," suggested Löw, "responsibility has to be shared out."

Butt as third keeper

The Germany coaches also envisage a similar role for Jörg Butt, who travels to South Africa as third goalkeeper. Löw has opted for Manuel Neuer as first-choice keeper with Tim Wiese as the Schalke man's understudy. "We expect Jörg to use his experience in support of Manuel and Tim," said goalkeeping coach Andreas Köpke, "but he needs to put these two under pressure as well and be ready at all times, in case anything should happen."
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