“The Ballon d’Or has become a popularity contest for strikers,” wrote Bayern Munich and former Germany defender Phillip Lahm in an exclusive column for Goal.com in January 2016. He’s not wrong. Of course, there should more to a football player being hailed as the best in the world than just scoring an incredible number of goals. Versatility, leadership, and accurate reading of the game are some of the qualities a Ballon d’Or winner should have. How many players came to your mind when you read these qualities? Very few, isn’t it? Phillip Lahm is one such player. 749 games, 21 trophies, 0 red cards. Such kind of statistics are unreal. As Lahm announced his decision to hang up his boots at the end of the current season, have a look at the finest moments of in the career of a player, who could very well go down in the record books as the greatest full-back ever. They just don’t make them like him anymore.
Champions League Glory:
Bayern Munich have come so close to European supremacy and yet been so far, so many times that there would hardly be anyone who wouldn’t feel sorry for them. Phillip Lahm was a part of two of Bayern’s three heart-breaking Champions League final defeats – against Manchester United in 1999, Inter Milan in 2010 and Chelsea in 2012. In 2013, the Bavarians stomped their way once again to the Champions League final. But this time the stakes were higher than ever, as Bayern Munich were facing arch-rivals Borussia Dortmund, who had had a stellar season so far under Jurgen Klopp. Arjen Robben’s 89th-minute winner ensured that Bayern had finally got their hands on the elusive Champions League trophy, and it was Lahm who lifted the trophy as Captain.