1. Philipp Lahm (German pronunciation: ; born 11 November 1983) is a German professional footballer who plays as a right back or defensive midfielder for Bundesliga club Bayern Munich.
2. He is the captain of his club, having skippered them to numerous honours including the 2013 UEFA Champions League as part of the Treble.
3. He is also a former captain of his national team, which he led to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, before retiring from international football.
4. 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.
5. Although Lahm is right-footed, he is able to play on both sides of the pitch.
6. He often cuts from the flank to the inside of the pitch to either shoot and/or pass.
7. He is renowned for his pace, stamina and precise tackling abilities as well as his small stature, giving him the nickname the “Magic Dwarf”.
8. 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.
9. Up to this point Lahm played as a defensive midfielder, right midfielder or right full-back.
10. On 13 November 2002, Lahm made his debut for the Bayern Munich first team as a 92nd-minute substitute in a 3 3 draw with RC Lens in the group stage of the Champions League. However, since Willy Sagnol and Bixente Lizarazu were established as Bayern’s first choice full-backs, and the club’s midfield was also well-staffed, Lahm made no further appearances during the 2002 03 season and was loaned to VfB Stuttgart for the 2003 04 and 2004 05 seasons to gain first team experience in the Bundesliga.
11. Lahm was originally signed as a back-up for Andreas Hinkel, who played as right back, but coach Felix Magath moved him to the left back position, on which he toppled the German international Heiko Gerber. He made his Bundesliga debut on the first day of the season 2003 04 against Hansa Rostock as he came in as a substitute left back in the 76th minute for midfielder Silvio Meissner.
12. He made his first professional start as a left back on the fourth matchday as a 63rd-minute substitute for Gerber and his first game over the full 90 minutes followed on the sixth matchday against Borussia Dortmund.
13. Thereafter he has established himself as a regular left back for Stuttgart. On 29 September 2003, Lahm made his first Champions League appearance as a starter against Manchester United.
14. On 3 April 2004, he scored his first ever Bundesliga goal in a 5 1 away win for Stuttgart against VfL Wolfsburg.
15. During the 2003 04 season Lahm appeared for Stuttgart in 31 Bundesliga and seven Champions League matches overall and came second in the election for the German footballer of the year.
16. During his second season in Stuttgart, Lahm had substantially more difficult time. After the Euro 2004 tournament and the resulting shorter vacation and pre-season training he had difficulties getting off the ground and also in conforming with the tactics and system of the new coach Matthias Sammer.
17. However, he still made 16 Bundesliga appearances for Stuttgart before the Christmas break, 14 of them over the full 90 minutes, and six appearances in the UEFA Cup. In January 2005, Lahm suffered a stress-fracture on his right foot and was thus sidelined for four months, making his comeback on 9 April 2005, against FC Schalke 04.
18. Only around five weeks later, he was injured again, this time suffering a torn cruciate ligament which ended his season and simultaneously his career in Stuttgart.
19. In July 2005, Lahm returned to Bayern Munich. However, the torn cruciate ligament he had suffered just before his return forced him to start his professional time in FC Bayern on rehabilitation.