Football

Michael Ballack's Comments On Phillip Lahm Have Caused A Divide In Germany

Michael Ballack's Comments On Phillip Lahm Have Caused A Divide In Germany

After Phillip Lahm played his final match as a professional footballer as Bayern Munich beat Freiburg 4-1 on the final day of the Bundesliga season, the football world has been gushing over one of the best careers we've seen in recent times.

The full-back is held up as a model pro, a loyal servant to Bayern, and a bloody good footballer, and tributes have been pouring in from all around the world as he has hung up his boots.. But Michael Ballack has a bit of an issue with that.

The former Bayern and Chelsea midfielder was on TV in Germany over the weekend when he revealed why he doesn't hold the same respect for Lahm that most seem to. Speaking on Sport 1, Ballack revealed that when Lahm took over the captaincy of Germany in 2010 after he couldn't play due to injury, his refusal to give it back caused a rift.

I got to know Lahm's other face.

I didn't know that a player who takes on the role of captain doesn't have to give it back afterwards. That was a frontal attack. I never made the step back to the national team after that incident. I had no chance to do anything against it. The way it took place was absolutely not okay.

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What Ballack is accusing Lahm of is conspiring with the management team of Die Mannschaft to get him out of the picture, and as a result it seems as though many German football fans are picking sides.

Ballack's camp recall that Lahm held a press conference to declare that he was the captain and saw no reason to give the armband back even if the German legend returned from injury very shortly after Ballack had publicly backed him for the interim role.

Lahm's defenders, of which there seem to be many more of, point to the fact that Ballack was 34 in 2010 and already on his way out of the international fold.

It should be noted that Ballack spoke very highly of Lahm's career during the interview, and was keen to focus on that, so it's not as if he can't stand the love for Lahm and wished to rain on his parade, but it's clear that the two don't get alone and the reaction amongs the German public has been interesting to see across social media in particular.

Mikey Traynor

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