Bayern and Germany captain Philipp Lahm has already lifted the Bundesliga and DFB Cup trophies three times, in 2006, 2008 and 2010, but the biannual rhythm of success was interrupted in 2012, as FCB have now gone two seasons without silverware. “And that basically can't be," Lahm told fcbayern.de In the second part of our exclusive interview.
In addition to reviewing last season, the 28-year-old spoke about the arrival of board member for sport Matthias Sammer, the club's summer signings, and his expectations for the new season, where Philipp believes favourites Bayern and Dortmund to be pushed all the way by a third title contender.
Interview with Philipp Lahm, part two:
fcbayern.de: Matthias Sammer joined the club as board member for sport on 1 July. What do you think of the appointment?
Philipp Lahm: I know him from my time in Stuttgart, where I spent a season playing for him when he was head coach. I've also come across him from time to time when playing for Germany, and it's always been very, very positive. It was the same when we met up again for last Sunday's lactate tests.
Were you surprised by the appointment?
Like almost everyone else at the club, I only learned about it on the day Christian Nerlinger left. I'm looking forward to working together with Matthias Sammer.
Were you surprised by the enormous public and media interest in the appointment?
Not in the slightest. It's always been like this at Bayern in the past. Whenever a player comes in or there are changes at board level, it's massively hyped up, but in fact it's absolutely positive, because it proves Bayern continue to set the standards in Germany.
A crop of new players have also come to the club this summer. What do you think of the transfer activity so far?
I've not trained with them yet, but it's clear we're in an even better position than we were last season, because the squad has more depth. Our transfers so far have been excellent.
Do you think the arrival of Pizarro and Co makes the team less predictable up front?
It certainly gives us the option of using two formations. I know Pizza from the past, and I know how well he can play off a central striker. He and Mandzukic are both great in the air. We have lots of options now, Shaqiri included. At the back, Dante means there's more competition. Weiser can play anywhere, and we have Starke as a backup in goal. It all looks good on paper, but all of them have to prove themselves on the pitch – and not just the newcomers, also the players who were regulars last season.
How problematic are the injuries to David Alaba and Rafinha?
Losing both of them hurts, especially because they're out at the same time. They'd worked very hard but then got injured at one of the most important times of the season. They'll have to start again from scratch now, which is tough. But they'll both fight back.
Did you have nightmares on holiday because of the Champions League final and Euro 2012?
Obviously I spent some time thinking things over, but not just last season, I was considering my entire career. I definitely still have a deep yearning for more trophies.
What conclusions have you drawn?
I'll only discuss details in private with the players. But you have to have runners-up in football. It's bitter that it happened to us three times, an especially in the Champions League final, where we were just a tiny step from the trophy. Obviously, we could have done better at the Euro, but this is what happens at the highest level of sport. It's all history and life goes on. And we're aiming high yet again!
What are the targets exactly?
We'd become used to winning the Bundesliga at least every second season. But we fell short, and that basically can't be. The title is our priority.
The Dortmund camp keeps insisting Bayern are favourites for the league title. What do you think of that?
I actually talked about this with [Borussia Dortmund president] Reinhard Rauball. They're deliberately acting modest, and let's face it, it's served them well over the last two seasons. But I think the club which has won back-to-back titles starts as favourites, although there are other title candidates. I have Schalke on my radar for example, they'll be there or thereabouts.