DURBAN - Germany's focus on
Cup semi-final match against Spain on Wednesday has not been
blurred by a captaincy controversy, coach Joachim Low said on
Lahm, who took over the role from Michael
Ballack after the 33-year-old was ruled out of the tournament
with an injury, had earlier on Tuesday said he had no intention
of willingly giving up the captain's armband.
Lahm made his comments in an
interview with the newspaper
"That does not bother
us at all," coach Joachim Low told
reporters. "Philipp spoke honestly about what he thinks. He has
been enjoying the added responsibility and he has done his job
here in an exemplary fashion."
Lahm is officially the World Cup
captain while Ballack, who
recently moved from Chelsea to German club Bayer Leverkusen,
remains the team captain.
"Philipp said he would like to continue but he also said he
knows it is up to the coach to decide after the World Cup."
Ballack, who has missed the
tournament due to an ankle
injury, flew out to be with the team ahead of the quarter-final
with Argentina but returned to Europe on Monday prompting
speculation he may have been upset with Lahm's comments.
Low said Ballack had returned to
continue treatment on his
injury but would come back for the final should Germany win the
semi-final against the European champions.
"Michael Ballack is fit. He was
checked here by our doctors
who suggested he should start training again. so he returned for
a bit more therapy but he will come back at the weekend if we
win tomorrow," Low said.
his comments to Bild, Lahm had said: "It's obvious that
I'd like to keep the captain's armband. The job gives me a great
deal of enjoyment. Why should I then give it up by choice?
"If you do the job out there on
the pitch and you have it
under control, as in my case, you want more. You want more
responsibility. You want to take care of it all. That is the
case with me," he added.
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