Cult Hero - Philipp Lahm

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Aarran Summers

A multiple Bundesliga champion for Bayern Munich and a World Cup-winning captain for Germany – Philippe Lahm is a cult hero for both club and country. A legend to many, a highly respected leader and technician on the pitch.

Lahm won eight league titles with the Bavarian giants and the DFB Pokal six times. He was also hugely successful on the European stage. Lahm lifted the Champions League trophy after a close 2-1 win over bitter rivals Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium.

It was an incredible season for Lahm as he led Bayern to an unprecedented treble, the first for a German side. Add to that a UEFA Super Cup, and then the FIFA Club World Cup – Lahm's club career was complete.

Lahm's mixture of mature leadership and technical prowess made him an almost unique figure in the Bundesliga. Off the field, Lahm is a humble individual despite his hugely successful career. Nicknamed the 'magic dwarf', Lahm is one of the greatest fullbacks the game has ever seen.

Back in 2013, his former boss and current manager, Pep Guardiola, labelled Lahm as "perhaps the most intelligent player that he had ever trained in his career".

Bayern's success in 2013 and his international achievement the following year in Brazil arguably defines Lahm's career. It was he who captained Germany to their first World Cup title as a unified nation. The scene was a magical night for Lahm lifting the coveted trophy aloft at the Maracana. It was a sight to behold for a man so popular in his country. 

Despite his baby face looks and positive demeanour – Lahm has courted some controversy. The first instance was before he retired from the game in 2017. Bayern was so incensed by Lahm's announcement that the chairman Karl Heinz Rummenigge revealed his 'surprise' at Lahm's decision.

 Whilst Lahm's remarks in 2018 on the leadership of the national team ruffled a few feathers. Former coach, Joachim Loew, was not pleased with the advice commenting that its style or manner was not correct. Lahm though, was watching Germany crash out of the group stage in Russia – a disastrous year for German international football. 

Despite those remarks, one thing is for sure, the former Bayern captain will go in the history books as one of the very best – both on and off the field.