Since making his Germany debut in 2004, Philipp Lahm has consistently been one of the top performers for his country in either full back position. It is this versatility that separates Lahm from many of his contemporaries, with the right-footed defender perfectly capable of producing top-class performances on either side of the defense.
The 28-year-old captain of both FC Bayern and Germany will be attending his fifth major international tournament this summer and has performed to a high standard on every occasion he has been tested at this level. A relative veteran, Lahm will be expected to guide a youthful, but prodigiously talented, Germany side to success in Poland and Ukraine. Under his captaincy since the 2010 World Cup, the side has performed at a level that suggests it will be a serious contender for international honors for several years to come.
Germany coach Joachim Low has only recently revealed that his captain will play left back for this year's tournament, giving Lahm the chance to cut infield to devastating effect. While some younger stars may have question marks next to their names on the big occasion, Lahm's temperament is one thing that has never come into question and he is firmly established as one of football's best in his position.
Expert's take: A remarkably consistent full back, Lahm has the added dimension of being able to play either at right back or left back. A natural leader and hence captain for club and country, you won't find Lahm screaming maniacally at teammates. Rather, Lahm leads by example and lets his performances speak for themselves. Don't be surprised if Lahm is the man lifting the trophy on July 1. -- Derek Rae
Stats That Matter:
• Captain of the national team since the 2010 FIFA World Cup, when he became the youngest captain in Germany’s World Cup history
• Completed more passes overall (2,358) than any player in the Bundesliga this season
• Named to the FIFA World Cup All-Star Team for both the 2006 and 2010 tournaments and was the only Germany player to appear for the maximum 690 minutes in 2006
• 85 appearances for since his debut in 2004 and has scored four goals (through May 18)
• Germany’s record with Lahm in the lineup is 61-12-12 (through May 18)