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One of the leading full-backs in world football, Philipp Lahm, has a great combination of defensive reliability and attacking threat. He is known for his pace, dribbling and crossing abilities. Lahm can play at either left or right back as well as in midfield if required. He began his career in the Bayern Munich youth team and was considered a real prospect, despite his young age. In 2003, he joined VfB Stuttgart on a two-year loan in order to gain Bundesliga experience and after originally signing as cover for right back, ended up playing left back and becoming the first choice for Stuttgart. However, to the disappointment of Stuttgart, Lahm returned to Bayern in July 2005 and after spending the first few months in rehabilitation, due to a torn cruciate ligament, he quickly showed his talent and was pushing for a first team place. The German defender soon forced his way into the team, moving French legend Bixente Lizarazu onto the bench. Lahm has been first choice ever since. One of the first names on the team sheet for Germany, Lahm made his debut in a 2-1 win over Croatia on 18 February 2004 and has picked up more than 60 appearances for his country. Lahm was the only German player to play all 90 minutes in all ten qualification matches for the 2010 World Cup finals.
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