There was hardly a football in sight, but Philipp Lahm spent the last week working out at full stretch. While his team-mates were away in China, the club captain joined Bastian Schweinsteiger for two daily sessions at the Säbener Strasse facility, focusing intensely on fitness basics. “It's done me the world of good," Lahm declared.
The 28-year-old appears spritely and refreshed at the moment after a relaxing vacation, during which he switched off completely “from sport, running, and all the palaver." But he is raring to go again now, and resumed the squad training programme on Saturday. Before that, Lahm met fcbayern.de for his first major interview since Euro 2012. In part one, the Germany captain spoke about cooking, tennis, training in Munich, and the remainder of the pre-season period.
Interview with Philipp Lahm, part one:
fcbayern.de: Philipp, you weren't exclusively out on the training ground last week. On Monday evening, you attended an event with top chef Eckart Witzigmann.
Philipp Lahm: Yes, it was great fun and the food was sensational. I do like a slap up meal from time to time – but I'm just as happy to sit down with my wife at home for a cosy bite of supper.
Are you a dab hand in the kitchen by any chance?
To be honest, I very, very rarely cook. I'm really there to help my wife in the kitchen. She's much, much better than I am.
So we can assume you didn't do much cooking on holiday. What did you do with your time off?
We only have a couple of weeks for our summer holidays and a few days in the winter. You have to make best use of the limited time. But as always, I've recovered completely.
Are you the kind of person who can simply chill out and put your feet up?
Oh yes, very much so, but generally only for a week or perhaps ten days. It’s actually important, because you need to switch off completely at times, from sport, running and all the palaver. But I very quickly sense the hunger returning, and then I want action.
You like to play tennis, don't you?
I've been out on the tennis court seven times already this summer, and normally not just for an hour, usually for at least two. It's not meant only to be fun, it's supposed to do me good. The short sprints are very similar to football, so it's good preparation. However, I do play tennis to win. A match against my mate Andi Ottl unfortunately had to be abandoned due to the weather.
You didn't make the trip to China. Are you pleased about that?
The coach and I talked about it towards the end of Euro 2012. I've played constantly for a number of years now and – touch wood – almost never been injured. It was good for me to be spared a demanding trip like this just once.
How was your week spent training in Munich?
I got through a lot of work, with two sessions a day except Wednesday. Naturally, the focus was on stamina. I had the ball at my feet on Thursday, when I trained with the reserves. That was good for me, but it was also very important to lay the foundations.
The DFB Cup trip to Regensburg takes place in around three weeks. Is it enough time to hit form?
It shouldn't be a problem for me. I've not had as long a pre-season for quite a while. The question is how the other Germany internationals get on. The trip to China was definitely energy-sapping, although it's certain that the going-in position after the 2010 World Cup was much, much harder for the internationals.
Tomorrow, in part two of our interview. Lahm assesses the lessons learned from last season, comments on the arrival of Matthias Sammer and the new players, and looks ahead to the 2012/13 campaign.