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Captain and deputy

Lahm & Schweinsteiger to lead Germany

Germany boss Joachim Löw has named Philipp Lahm as team captain for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa in place of the injured Michael Ballack, with Bastian Schweinsteiger as vice-captain. It is the third World Cup in succession to feature a Germany captain drawn from Bayern’s ranks.

“Both players are taking on a very, very important role, and a lot of responsibility,” said Löw, “both have been outstanding this season, and have fulfilled pivotal roles for the national team in recent years. They’ve consistently shown they’re in a position to shoulder the responsibility.”

Youngest World Cup skipper

Lahm will be Germany’s youngest-ever captain at the global showdown. The 26-year-old is two months younger than Karl-Heinz Rummenigge at the 1982 finals in Spain, although his 64 caps make him one of the most experienced members of a young Germany squad. Lahm, who has previously captained Bayern and Germany on occasion, will contest his fourth major tournament this summer.

Löw praised the full-back for his consistency, class, tactical nous and organisational awareness. “He thinks hard about the game and is a vital point of contact for me,” said Löw, “he cooperates and communicates closely with the coaching staff. I know he gives open and honest feedback.”