Lahm keen to keep captaincy

  • Last Updated: July 8 2010, 19:45 BST

Philipp Lahm insists he will not surrender the Germany captaincy to Michael Ballack unless told to do so by the coach.

Philipp Lahm - enjoying Germany captaincy.

The 26-year-old stand-in skipper guided the Germans to the World Cup semi-finals in South Africa this year, where they lost out 1-0 to European champions Spain, after Ballack was sidelined from the tournament with an ankle injury.

And Lahm is adamant he will not hand the armband back to Ballack just because the 33-year-old midfielder has returned to full fitness when the Euro 2012 qualifiers get under way in September.

"If the coach tells me 'Philipp, you must give the armband back to Michael', I would have no difficulty in doing that. I would accept the decision," said Lahm.

"But I am not going to go and seek out the coach and hand him back the armband of my own accord. When one is given a role such as this, one likes to keep it, as indeed I have loved my responsibilities during the finals.

"It is an enormous honour for me to be captain of the German team, and I would like to remain so, but in saying that, I am not attacking Michael (Ballack), because in the end it is neither him nor myself, but the coach."