Phillip Lahm

Watch: Phillip Lahm smashes one-timer home in training

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While Bayern Munich defender Phillip Lahm isn’t exactly the most likely source for goals in game action, the side’s captain scored a peach in training on Wednesday.

[ MORE: A full slate of international friendlies takes place this week ]

The club shared this video (below) on their personal Instagram account.

In his career with Die Bayern, the 32-year old has scored 11 goals in over 300 appearances for the club. Lahm has one Bundesliga goal during the current 2015-16 campaign.

Teams may want to remember this the next time Lahm steps into the attacking third.

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Philipp Lahm: Real Madrid the “team to beat” in Champions League

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Bayern Munich isn’t universally perceived as the favorites of capturing the Champions League crown this year, and even veteran Philipp Lahm sung the praises of La Liga side Real Madrid, despite the fact that he greatly desires a title for himself.

He believes they have put themselves in excellent position to compete once again, noting that they used their funds to supplement their team.

“The club has strengthened an already excellent team with a lot of money,” he said to Kicker.

“Real is certainly the team to beat. I want to win this trophy again. Whether with the squad we have this season or in the new three years, I want a shot at the title.”

New additions to Real this summer included World Cup star James Rodriquez, Toni Kroos and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez. They lost Angel Di Maria and Xabi Alonso, though, and questions of whether this current team will mesh well together was questioned by media in Real’s disappointing 2-1 loss to Atletico Madrid.

But there is still plenty of time left in the season, and Los Blancos struggled against Atletico in 2013-14.

Last year, Real definitely showed their a very capable team when competing against other European teams. They trounced Bayern 5-0 on aggregate in the semifinals before advancing to the semifinal round. They then managed to win the Champions League title for the first time since 2002, beating Atletico Madrid, 4-1, in Lisbon.

 

Phillip Lahm comes to the defense of Pep Guardiola

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After a five-goal loss in the UEFA Champions League semifinals, Bayern Munich deserve some mild scrutiny, considering the result represented a step back from what the club was able to achieve last year. Though this year’s team has won the Bundesliga and may yet claim the German Cup, it won’t replicate last year’s league-Cup-Europe triumph. Instead, they’re left asking why, for the first time since 2011, the team came up short of Champions League’s final.

To date, most of that scrutiny has been aimed at Pep Guardiola – the coach who took over for Jupp Heynckes last summer. With a stronger squad, Guardiola came up short, leaving some to speculate his style and tactics, not the natural uncertainties of Champions League, are to blame for Bayern’s early exit.

It’s a view FCB captain Philipp Lahm disputes. Speaking to Germany’s Bild newspaper, the defender-cum-midfielder noted that for most of the season Guardiola’s now-criticized tactics worked just fine.

Via our partners at Soccerly:

“With Pep Guardiola, we showed throughout two-thirds of the season that we could have our own style of play that is very effective, precise and dangerous in attack, and, yes, like Barcelona, have lots of possession of the ball,” Lahm told Wednesday’s edition of weekly newspaper Sport Bild.

“And that’s the style we’re going to continue working on.”

Soccerly has more, but while it’s easy to point to Guardiola as the difference between this year and last, critics should also acknowledge that each Champions League presents a new set of challenges. Real Madrid, after coming close to the final in the last three tournaments, was bolstered by the acquisitions of Gareth Bale and Daniel Carvajal, the further integration of Luka Modric, and the presence of Carlo Ancelotti.

Would last year’s Bayern team have defeated this Real Madrid? Who knows, but that’s partially the point. Comparing teams across seasons can be helpful, but it’s not the only answer. It’s also possible the array of factors that go into claiming a Champions League one year are unlikely to be as forgiving in another.