this is a post about
(srsly the captcha there just said "Meet your Waterloo" haha)
aka the Captain of Bayern Munich, German NT, and all around awesome (and possibly Napolahmonic) dude...
Lahm was born on the 11th of November in 1983, which means he is totally old enuogh to perv over, er, stan. He is, without doubt, one of the best fullbacks in the world and he can play on the right and the left, or else a defensive midfielder or, if the situation calls for it, he can just as easily attack the goal head-on.
But more than that - he's a cooool dude
1) He takes an active part in charity work
Lahm is involved in many charity campaigns and events. In June 2007, FIFA announced that Lahm and Owen Hargreaves would visit South Africa in advance to support the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Although Hargreaves never managed to take part in the trip due to injury, Lahm and German national teammate Piotr Trochowski visited the country taking time not only to visit the 2010 FIFA World Cup organizers but also to visit a local SOS Children's Village and to take part in the Kick-AIDS event.
Lahm has established a foundation, Philipp Lahm-Stiftung, to support underprivileged children and is also an official ambassador representing "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages". In addition he was an ambassador of the 2007, 2008 and 2009 World AIDS Day. He has also taken part in a campaign against speeding and various others such as Bündnis für Kinder, a campaign against child abuse.
The above photo is actually from a recent batch from his Facebook page and it's from a charity he's worked with in South Africa to help people (especially kids!) in poverty learn soccer and get an education. The name is Shongi Soccer.
2) He's a Nintendo Nerd
Really, really big Nintendo nerd actually.
In fact, he's even sponsored a summercamp for underpriviledged kids and.. they played a lot of Nintendo there.
3) He is a rare player who openly speaks about homophobia in football
Lahm was awarded a Tolerantia-Preis on 20 September 2008, due to his outstanding contribution against intolerance and homophobia in sports, particularly in football. He also stated that it's a "pity that being gay in football is still a taboo subject" and he would have no problem with a homosexual teammate and is "not afraid of homosexuals". However, Lahm doesn't advise footballers to publicly admit to being homosexual, because of the abuse they would suffer. He was evocative of the tragic death of homosexual footballer Justin Fashanu.
And while the media likes to twist it into "Lahm says gay players should stay closeted!!" one thing he's always tried to be explicitly clear on is that he has no problem playing with any homosexual/bisexual player and that they will still be his teammate, regardless.
4) He likes bunnies
And horses. And fluffy things!
5) He's smart
See, Lahm has what I like to call "foot in mouth disease" and it's gotten him in trouble more than once.
But, despite that, he has a very excellent view of the game, the football culture around him, and how it has changed and how it will change. I'm never going to say that he deserves the captaincy of either of his teams over Schweinsteiger (they both deserve it really), but Lahm has an objective perspective that's awesome to hear.
And, while again - Lahm has some serious cringe-inducing gaffes but he's willing to give his opinion and stand by it.
6) He played the WC 2006 with an arm cast
How badass is that, really?
Actually - let me just say this right now: he's a damn good player
Speaking of his honors in the NT and in general? I'm quoting Wikipedia yet again:
Lahm has been a candidate for the UEFA Team of the Year in all of his professional years when he has been fit (2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009) and is therefore alongside Michael Ballack the most often nominated German player for the aforementioned team and the second German having been elected more than once. In 2008, Lahm was also 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.
(just mute this... why don't they have cool> music y'all!)
I won't say Lahm is a glamorous player to watch all the time, nor is he one of the ones that really gets a lot of credit but he's like the German NT to me - he stays consistently good and puts his all in it.
He has said straight-up that there will come a day that there will be a better player than he, and at that point he must have to step aside but it's like Miroslav Klose really - IT IS NOT HAPPENING OKAY?! NOT HAPPENING.
7) He is one of the most powerful captains in football today
Having received captainship of both the German giants Bayern Munich AND the German National Team gives him a lot of responsibility as a role model especially, and I think he does a good job with it. Again - many gaffes, but with that is his speaking about homophobia, his charity work, and how football has influence and how difficult a player's job can be.
As a sidenote - under his captainship, he does not consider himself The Leader - the current NT style of leadership is spread out through multiple players including Schweinsteiger, Klose, Mertesacker, (previously Arne Friedrich as well) known as the Mannschaftrat). Lahm's spoken about how hierarchy is flatter than in previous years and some of the big responsibilities include integrating new players. See how happy our NT is? I super-secretly think it's due to the fact that Lahm and the other older players try to make it as welcoming as possible to the newbies.
He's also the youngest captain, gaining the armband at age 26. (Unfortunately the circumstances behind it weren't so favorable :/ )
So hats off to you Lahm! He doesn't get a lot of credit but he's one of my favorite players BY FAR because not only is he an awesome defender, but an awesome person as well.
And the bunnies part. And the Nintendo nerd part really, did I mention that?
(oh yeah and you see this beautiful classy lady? ARE YOU JEALOUS?)