Lahm accepts captaincy snub
Philipp Lahm has insisted he has no problem with the decision to name Michael Ballack as Germany captain.
Last Updated: 02/09/10 8:29pm
Stand-in skipper Philipp Lahm has insisted he has no problem with Joachim Low's decision to retain Michael Ballack as permanent Germany captain.
Lahm was given the armband for the World Cup in South Africa after Ballack was ruled out with an ankle injury.
Ballack remains absent for Friday's opening Euro 2012 qualifier against Belgium but Low has made it clear he will keep the role when fit again.
Lahm, who will lead the side out in Brussels on Friday, stated during the World Cup that he would not surrender the captaincy unless asked to do so.
He maintains that he will respect Low's wishes, although his immediate focus is on making a strong start on the long road to Poland and Ukraine.
"You have to accept such decisions," said Lahm, who led Germany to third place in the South Africa finals.
"Now it is up to me to lead the team again in the next two games as captain.
"I am looking forward to it and I have the confidence of the players around me and I am looking forward to leading them."
Miroslav Klose is another senior figure in the Germany squad and the striker is already looking beyond Euro 2012 to the next World Cup.
Klose had hinted during the summer that he might be about to retire from international football but he is now thinking about playing for four more years.
The Bayern Munich man will be 36 in 2014 but he is feeling good at the current time and sees no reason why he could not make the trip to Brazil.
"I think I can still play at top level for a few more years. I am only 32 and that's not so old," he told the German football federation website.
"Why should I not be there (in Brazil) if I am still fit and in form in four years time?"