Lahm: I'm glad I didn't leave Bayern for England

The World Cup winner has revealed that he entertained the idea of joining a Premier League club in 2009 but is delighted that he opted to stay in Bavaria

Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm says he is glad he decided against moving to England when he was considering his future at the Allianz Arena.

After a trophyless 2008-09 campaign, the defender-turned-midfielder entertained the idea of quitting the Bavarian outfit for pastures new and was reportedly approached by a number of Premier League clubs, including Manchester United.

However, Lahm ultimately decided to stay put and has since won three Bundesliga titles, a Champions League and the Club World Cup.

“I did think about England before that and there were some interesting possibilities,” the 30-year-old told the Daily Mail.

“But Bayern are my hometown club and I was convinced we were on to a good thing again.

“I felt we had the chance to win the Champions League. I’d rather win it with my club than any other.

“Thankfully my decision turned out to be the right one.”

Having retired from international football after leading Germany to World Cup glory in Brazil this summer, Lahm’s primary focus is on helping Bayern win the Champions League for a second time in three seasons.

They once again have Manchester City for company in the group stage and kicked off their continental campaign in the best possible style by beating the English champions 1-0 at the Allianz Arena last month.

City, of course, are one of the richest clubs in world football and Lahm freely admits that he is baffled by their inability to make a big impact on the European stage.

‘I can’t really understand it because Manchester City are an outstanding team and a top side with great players like Yaya Toure,” he mused. “They’ve got so many good players in their squad.

“They did have a tough game to start with here in Munich and that puts you under pressure straight away because you have to go on and win games.

“But I still think they have the ability to go a long way in the Champions League.”

Lahm: Germany tried not to 'take the mickey' out of Brazil

Joachim Low’s side routed the Selecao 7-1 at the Estadio Mineirao in July and the midfielder has confessed that he told his team-mates at half-time not to “showboat”

Philipp Lahm has revealed that Germany did not want to “take the mickey” out of Brazil during their already iconic World Cup semi-final clash in Belo Horizonte during the summer.

In one of the most sensational games in the tournament’s history, Joachim Low’s men recorded a stunning 7-1 victory over the five-time champions.

Germany were five goals to the good by the break at the Estadio Mineirao and Lahm, who captained his country to glory at Brazil 2014, has now confessed that he spoke to his team-mates at half-time about resisting any urge to humiliate the hosts.

“We talked about continuing to play properly and show respect,” the 30-year-old told the Daily Mail. “Everybody in the team took that attitude for the second half.

“We didn’t want to showboat or take the mickey out of the opposition.

“If it ended in a bigger margin of victory, then that wasn’t all we wanted. We aimed to show respect to the opposition and the fans.”

Lahm retired from international football after lifting the World Cup trophy following Germany’s 1-0 win over Argentina in the final in Rio de Janeiro.

However, the Bayern Munich skipper insisted that he would have walked away even if he had not managed to get his hands on the most prestigious prize in the game.

“It was clear to me before the tournament it would be my last one,” Lahm explained. “It wasn’t because we won the World Cup that I retired. I’d made my mind up before the tournament…

“People forget I’d been playing for Germany for 10 years and that I was in the side for nearly every game and I played in so many tournaments.

“You’re always under pressure when you play. I was never just a player. I wanted to accept responsibility.

“I’ve been captain of Bayern and Germany for the past few years. That means not just going on the pitch to train or play for 90 minutes. There’s more to it.

“You want to have an influence, discuss tactics with everybody and deal with everything else involved. You invest a lot of energy in it.”

Still only 30 and under contract with Bayern until 2018, Lahm admits he has no idea when he will call time on his illustrious playing career.

However, the full-back-turned-midfielder is not sure if he has what it takes to be a coach.

“I don’t think so,” he admitted. “It’s difficult and tough.

“I want to stay in this sport because I love the game and football is such great fun. I definitely want to stay in football but we’ll have to see in what capacity.”

I turned down Bayern for Liverpool – Can

The midfielder says Brendan Rodgers convinced him to spurn the Bundesliga champions in favour of a move to Anfield

Emre Can has revealed he rejected an option to rejoin Bayern Munich in favour of moving to Liverpool from Bayer Leverkusen in the off-season.

The Germany Under-21 international moved to Anfield in July after just one season at Leverkusen.

Can came through the ranks at Bayern and made four league appearances before the switch to their Bundesliga rivals.

The midfielder, who has seen his opportunities at Liverpool limited by an ankle injury, says Brendan Rodgers ultimately convinced him that a switch to Anfield would best suit his career.

“Bayern had a buyback clause but that didn’t kick in until next year,” he said.

“There were some discussions with Bayern this summer but I decided the best thing for me would be to accept the opportunity to come to Liverpool.

“Before I came here I had discussions with Brendan Rodgers and that made my mind up. From those talks I was very positive about this move.

“This whole club is very ambitious and positive about how it wants to play football. That’s the way I want to play football too.

“Liverpool believe in the same things and that’s why I came here. I want to stay here for a long time.”

'Robben more complete than Messi & Ronaldo'

Bert van Marwijk says that the Dutchman’s all-round quality is often overlooked because his goalscoring stats are not as good as the Barca and Madrid stars

Former Netherlands boss Bert van Marwijk says he would rather have Arjen Robben in his team than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Dutchman was in sublime form for his country throughout the World Cup as Oranje made the semi-finals, but was pipped to the best player of the tournament award by the Barcelona forward, who finished second with Argentina.

However, Van Marwijk says that his former charge is superior to both the 27-year-old and the Ballon d’Or winner, who has started the season with a bang for Real Madrid.

“If I’m a coach and I could choose Messi, Ronaldo or Robben, I’d choose Robben,” he told AD.

“Out of the three players, he’s the most complete. Robben ahead of Ronaldo and Messi in that regard but not everyone sees that. The focus is on goals and attacking.

“I get the idea that this is the thinking for individual prizes like the Ballon d’Or.”

Robben infamously missed a penalty for Bayern Munich in the Champions League final in 2012 and was jeered by the Bavarians’ fans days later when he represented his country against his club in a friendly.

Van Marwijk says his response since then, including the winning goal in the showpiece a year later, shows his strength of character.

“How long ago was it that he was booed in his own stadium? We played there in 2012 with Netherlands against Bayern and he couldn’t do anything right.

“Look what he did afterwards. That makes him very special.”

Ribery nears Bayern return

The Frenchman has made just one appearance for the German champions this season due to a recurring knee problem

Franck Ribery is edging closer to making his Bayern Munch return following a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

The former France international has made just one appearance for the German champions this season as a result of a persistent knee problem.

But the 31-year-old, who was also forced out of this year’s World Cup with a back injury, returned to training with the ball this week after his tendon inflammation calmed.

“Franck Ribery is making good progress towards a comeback. The Frenchman has been sidelined recently with a painful swelling around the kneecap but was back outdoors and working with the ball on Tuesday,” read a statement on the club website.

“Supervised by fitness specialist Dr. Holger Broich and sports rehab trainer Thomas Wilhelmi, Ribery completed an intense training session, including slalom runs and top speed sprints.”

Bayern are still without the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thiago Alcantara, Javi Martinez and Holger Badstuber in what has been an injury-plagued start to the season for coach Pep Guardiola.

They sit four points clear at the top of the Bundesliga table with 17 points from seven games.

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