- 2014 World Cup winner Lahm will deliver Trophy to Luzhniki Stadium
- The former Germany captain speaks with FIFA.com forward of Sunday’s Final
- He mentioned: “I am passing on the pride that German football has felt for the past four years”
At Brazil 2014, Philipp Lahm turned the first Germany captain in 24 years to elevate the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy – a victory that made him one in every of the most profitable gamers in the historical past of the lovely sport. Few footballers can boast a trophy assortment that features home championship and cup titles, the UEFA Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup and even the World Cup. Now 34, the full-again introduced his retirement from worldwide soccer after the 2014 triumph and hung up his boots for good three years later.
Lahm will return to soccer’s largest stage this Sunday as he brings the golden Trophy to Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. “I’m passing on the pride that German soccer has felt for the previous 4 years,” the man capped 113 occasions for his nation instructed FIFA.com. “It will be a wistful second for each us and Germany and an incentive to win the Trophy again.”
We caught up with him earlier than this weekend’s Final between France and Croatia to hear about his pleasure at seeing the Trophy once more and his ideas about the defending champions’ early exit from Russia 2018.
FIFA.com: You are about to hand over the World Cup Trophy to the new world champions 4 years after profitable it your self. How do you are feeling about the prospect of being reunited with it?
Philipp Lahm: I’m presenting the Trophy on behalf of the German nationwide group and Germany itself. We’ll be passing on the pride our nation has felt for the final 4 years about ending this immense and particular occasion as world champions. We will hand over that pride to the winners.
What will be going via your head throughout the trophy presentation?
It’s a implausible second as a result of it’s the unique Trophy. In actuality, you solely maintain it in your fingers for a second, and as captain you inevitably take into consideration the gamers who’ve lifted it after which handed it on – Germany skippers corresponding to Fritz Walter, Franz Beckenbauer and Lothar Matthaus, and worldwide captains like Bobby Moore, Carlos Alberto, Daniel Passarella, Dino Zoff, Diego Maradona, Carlos Dunga, Didier Deschamps, Cafu, Fabio Cannavaro and Iker Casillas.
What reminiscences come to thoughts when you consider Brazil 2014?
I take into consideration when the ultimate whistle blew at the Final. The minutes from Mario Gotze scoring his objective to the finish of the match have been the longest of my total life. I used to be simply pondering: ‘Please, please, simply blow the whistle!’ I bear in mind Argentina getting a free-kick simply earlier than the finish and Lionel Messi firing it over the crossbar. Then Manuel Neuer took a objective kick – and the whistle blew. Those previous few minutes and the one or two hours after the match will all the time be the first issues I consider.
Carles Puyol handed the Trophy on to you at the Maracana. Who will maintain it aloft in Moscow on Sunday?
The match will determine that; there’s no manner I’m selecting a favorite. Of course, I can very effectively think about Hugo Lloris and what it could imply for France and above all the gamers to observe in Deschamps’ and Zidane’s footsteps. The similar is true for Luka Modric and Croatia, who’re in a World Cup Final for the first time of their historical past.
Were you stunned to see 4 European groups in the semi-finals?
I used to be somewhat stunned, as I all the time anticipated a South American facet to attain the final 4. Whether in Brazil, Argentina or Uruguay, there are all the time gamers in South America who’re blessed with expertise. Here in Europe, we have now the finest infrastructure, and the leagues in Germany, England, Spain, Italy and France are the most tasty and financially sound. We play host to the finest gamers and have the best championships, and that makes the nationwide groups in Europe robust – and even advantages smaller international locations corresponding to Belgium and Croatia.
What do you consider Germany’s performances?
Bringing collectively and constructing a group that may turn into European and world champions is an ongoing course of and a minor miracle. While what we noticed from Germany was certainly not a murals, I’m certain that they’ve the energy to come again stronger and develop a brand new era who can stay up to Gary Lineker’s well-known assertion that “soccer is a straightforward sport. Twenty-two males chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the finish the Germans win.”
Despite Germany’s early exit, you will be sporting their colors for the Final. How will you bid the Trophy farewell?
I’ll be passing on the pride that German soccer has felt for the previous 4 years. This pride will be handed over to the winners, and there’s little doubt that it will be a strong picture for the lovely sport. It will be a wistful second for each us and Germany and an incentive to win the Trophy again. We can use this second to collect our energy for the subsequent World Cup and our bid to host UEFA EURO 2024 and put on one other competition of soccer.