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Upbeat as ever

Local boy Lahm predicts long-term success

Philipp Lahm cut an upbeat figure when he faced the press for the first time after returning to the club from vacation on Thursday, although that is typical of the chirpy and effervescent local-born lad. Far from moping over Germany's Euro 2008 final defeat in Vienna, the man named in the tournament all-star team came across as highly motivated and ready for the new campaign.

"I'm top fit," he declared. The cut on the foot he sustained in the final against Spain "has healed well," he reported, and the two and a half week break since Germany's defeat to Spain had been "totally sufficient" to recharge the batteries ready for the tasks ahead.

Impressed by changes

Lahm was as impressed as the entire squad by the new performance centre, although he was not unprepared for his first visit: "I saw the pictures on It's become really great here.“

The 24-year-old is also a fan of the innovative approach favoured by Jürgen Klinsmann, as "specialist coaches for different areas are vital for your development as an individual. I think it's all very positive, and I like Klinsmann's style.“

Looking to the future

The conditions are ideal for a potentially glorious campaign, but Lahm knows other factors are in play when it comes to the Champions League. "Many great teams have failed to win the Champions League at the first attempt," he explained, "there's a process leading up to winning the trophy." The task was to start that long-term process as of now.

This way of thinking persuaded Lahm to sign a contract extension at the end of last season, keeping him in Munich until 2012. "Big things are beginning to happen here and I want to be part of it," he declared.

Candidate for captain

The player is ready to assume greater responsibility, including the captaincy if so required: "I'm ready for the job. I feel I'm accepted here at the club and in the dressing room.“ However, he fully understood it was the coach's decision, and his priorities lie elsewhere in any case. "I want trophies," he emphasised, a typical cheeky grin playing across his boyish features.