GGFN Advent Calendar | Day 21 – The Legend That Is Philipp Lahm

Welcome back to the Get German Football News advent calendar. As the countdown to Christmas continues, so does our festive fun on day twenty-one, as we remember how Philipp Lahm made the number 21 shirt so legendary at Bayern Munich.

Born in Munich, Lahm would come through the youth ranks at Bayern, where he was considered the most talented player to emerge from Der Rekordmeister’s academy by many of his coaches. Despite debuting for Bayern’s senior side in 2002 against RC Lens in the Champions League, Lahm would ultimately be sent out on loan to Stuttgart for two seasons to ensure that he was guaranteed game time in Germany’s top flight.

After establishing himself in Stuttgart’s side, he returned to Bavaria and made his first Bundesliga appearance for Bayern in November 2005. Lahm quickly became a crucial member of Der Rekordmeister’s squad and would go on to play every game for the club during the 2006/07 Bundesliga campaign, scoring his first goal for Bayern at the start of the season in a 2-1 away win at Bochum.

However, the transfer rumours would begin to heighten as Barcelona and Manchester United looked to lure the right-back away from Munich. Regardless, despite critsicing Bayern’s transfer policy and subsequently receiving the largest fine ever given to a Bayern player of €25,000, Lahm remained at the Allianz Arena for the rest of his career.

While his time at Die Rekordmeister would see countless managers come and go, Captain Lahm would always stay. Whether it be as a left-back, a right-back, or in holding midfield, he was quite simply irreplaceable. The 2012/13 season was the most memorable, as he captained Bayern to an unprecedented treble, becoming the first German side to achieve this feat by winning the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, and Champions League.

After a total of 517 appearances for the club, Lahm would retire in 2017. Amassing a total of eight league titles, six DFB-Pokals, and a Champions League, Lahm will always be regarded as one of Bayern’s finest ever players, and in the words of Bastian Schweinsteiger, “Philipp is the perfect footballer. He has pace, defensive ability, and is an attacking threat. He will be remembered as one of Germany’s greatest players.”

GGFN | Will Shopland

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