Ballack - I'm still captain
Injured Germany captain Michael Ballack has assured Philipp Lahm he is prepared to fight for the armband.
Last Updated: 14/07/10 6:54pm
Injured Germany captain Michael Ballack has assured World Cup skipper Philipp Lahm he is prepared to fight for the armband.
Midfielder Ballack was sidelined for the showpiece event in South Africa after damaging his ankle while playing for Chelsea during last season's FA Cup final against Portsmouth.
Bayern Munich full-back Lahm enjoyed a successful captaincy at the World Cup, leading Germany to a third-place finish, and has revealed he is keen to retain the role even when Ballack makes his comeback.
But former Blues man Ballack, who penned a two-year deal with Bayer Leverkusen last month and was officially unveiled on Wednesday, says he will not step aside for his 26-year-old compatriot.
"This is no issue for me. I am the captain," said Ballack.
"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."
Lahm last week told the Bild newspaper: "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?"