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Extension until 2012

Philipp Lahm pledges his future to Bayern

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Friday brought two pieces of good news for Philipp Lahm. On the one hand, he was called up as expected by Germany coach Joachim Löw to the national squad for EURO 2008 in Austria and Switzerland this summer. And on the eve of the last match of the 2007-8 Bundesliga season, he agreed the terms of a three-year extension to his current contract with champions Bayern, keeping him in Munich until 30 June 2012.

"I'm delighted about it, otherwise I wouldn't have done it,“ Lahm commented ahead of a final pre-match training session on Friday. Talks with the board and incoming coach Jürgen Klinsmann in recent weeks had been "very productive. I sense a real new beginning here, and that's what persuaded me,“ he told the respected Süddeutsche Zeitung.

One for the future

Current boss Ottmar Hitzfeld welcomed the 24-year-old international's decision to pull on a red jersey for the foreseeable future. "I'm delighted for Philipp Lahm and for Bayern. This is naturally the best decision he could have made - a Bavarian is staying at Bayern,“ the General commented in his final pre-match news conference at the Säbener Strasse. "The future belongs to Philipp Lahm. He's a terrific player, and already one of the best in the world.“

Only four weeks ago, Bayern withdrew an initial contract extension offer after talks stalled and the player allowed a deadline to pass without a decision. However, the board never gave up hope of reaching agreement with the Munich-born full-back. "I'm very optimistic that Philipp will remain at Bayern beyond 2009,“ chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told the tz tabloid last Friday.