Injured Germany captain Michael Ballack has warned World Cup skipper Philipp Lahm he has no intention of giving up the armband on a permanent basis.
The 33-year old Ballack was ruled out of the World Cup after suffering an ankle injury while playing for Chelsea. Phillip Lahm took over the role of captaincy and guided the German team to a 3rd place finish at the World Cup. But after the World Cup, Lahm has come out and publically said that, “It is clear I would like to retain the captaincy. The job is a lot of fun for me. Why should I then voluntarily give up the role?”.
At his unveiling at his new club Bayer Leverkusen, Ballack made it clear that who he thought was the captain of the side. Ballack said:
“This is no issue for me. I am the captain. “A player cannot request in what position he wants to play, and it is the same with the captaincy. One should respect this. There are hierarchies.”
This battle between the two older players of the German squad has somewhat divided the young bunch. With a future captaincy candidate Bastian Schweinsteiger, who is also the team-mate of Phillip Lahm at Bayern, saying, “He (Ballack) is the captain of this team and he will wear the armband again when he returns. Two captains are one too many on the pitch. For me, Ballack is the captain of the team … Philipp only took the position due to Michael’s injury and did a good job.”
And not only the current player but the former players have also had different opinions about who should be the German captain. People such as Oliver Kahn, Jens Lehmann, Oliver Bierhoff and former manager Jurgen Klinsmann, clearly think Ballack is the best choice for the job. But Ballack would not be helped by the news that before the World Cup his agent, Michael Becker, called the German squad a ‘bunch of gays’. But Becker has since said that he was “misunderstood” and that the interview was not “authorized”.