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Lahm: Littbarski was my idol

Four months after Philipp Lahm brought down the curtain on his international career, we’ve become accustomed the sight of the former national team captain training at the Säbener Strasse facility rather than travelling with the Germany set-up – and that means he has more time to talk to The 30-year-old, winner of a Bambi media award last week, spoke about his medal and memento collection, cosy evenings watching football on TV, and his role model Pierre Littbarski.

Interview: Philipp Lahm Congratulations on winning a Bambi, Philipp! Where’s the award itself now?
Philipp Lahm: At home in my living room.

Bambi, A Silver Laurel Leaf, the World Cup, the championship shield, the DFB cup – and that’s your haul from this year alone! Where do you keep all your medals and trophies?
I have a cabinet for the honours and all the other things you collect in the course of a career

Arjen Robben is toying with the idea of opening a private museum once he finishes playing. Could there be a Philipp Lahm collection one day?
A personal museum? The thought has never occurred to me. I’d rather stop by the FC Bayern Erlebniswelt.

And what happens to all the shirts you’ve swapped in the course of your career?
I hold onto most of them. If a friend would really like a particular shirt, I try and get hold of one. But most of them are hanging in a big cupboard at home.

Do you have a special favourite?
No, but the ones I like best are the shirts I’ve swapped with friends if we got to play each other: Andi Ottl for example, or players I know from the national team. These are the most personally valuable ones.

How do you feel when you watch an international match on TV?
Totally relaxed.

So you put your feet up?
I don’t want to set a bad example to my boy, so I sit nicely upright and enjoy a cosy evening with the family.

Does it still feel a little odd to be sitting on the couch while your former national team-mates are giving it all out on the pitch?
Not at all. To start with, I didn’t suddenly decide to retire in the summer, the decision was taken a long time before. And secondly, I’ve not exactly given up playing. So I’m not sitting there burdened by regrets, because I know I’ll be running out at the Allianz Arena against Hoffenheim in less than a week

So you enjoy the international breaks?
It’s very pleasant. You have a couple of days off, you can wind down, regenerate, and spend time with the family. It does you a lot of good. I’ve basically been playing twice a week for many years, or at least it feels like that.

Fans had the chance to put questions to you on Twitter. @jagibaby wanted to know this: Would you like your son to follow in your footsteps one day? Or do you want him to choose a different job?
It doesn’t bother me in the slightest. He should do what he wants, and I’m not forcing him to play football. He should choose a path of his own.

@FCB_since_1900 asks: What would you be if you weren’t a footballer?
I’m delighted I became a player. Otherwise I really don’t know whether I’d have ended up as a banker or a policeman.

And a question from @fussballgott_31: Who was your biggest role model as a kid?
Pierre Littbarski. The 1990 World Cup was the first I followed properly, and that’s when I took notice of him. And just like me, Pierre Littbarski isn’t the biggest guy around. That’s why he was my idol.