Philipp Lahm dinobat sebagai Germany's Footballer of the Year 2017

Awards seem to keep on coming for Philipp Lahm even after the end of his playing career. On Saturday evening, the long-time FC Bayern captain was honoured with the Bavarian Sport Award in Munich, and now there’s yet another accolade for the 33-year-old. Two months after retiring, Lahm has been named Germany’s Footballer of the Year 2017 for the first time.

Organised by the magazine kicker, the award is determined by votes from members of the Association of German Sports Journalists, who named Lahm the clear winner with 242 votes ahead of Toni Kroos (Real Madrid/192) and Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (120). In total, 885 journalists took part in the vote in the 58th edition of Footballer of the Year.

“It’s a real honour and I’m truly pleased with it. I think the journalists in the vote have watched me for my entire career,” said Lahm, who finished second and third in the 2004 and 2006 votes, respectively. Lahm succeeds his long-time Bayern and Germany teammate Jerome Boateng as the recipient of the award.

A Champions League title, eight Bundesliga titles and six DFB Cup wins with FC Bayern were deemed enough for 242 journalists to bestow the award on the World Cup winning captain for his career’s work. The fact that Lahm had so far failed to win the award despite years of top-class performances can be put down to his position as a full-back.

“History shows that it is incredibly tough for a defender to be named Footballer of the Year because over the course of a year there is normally always a forward who steals the headlines up front,” the newly crowned winner stated.

Germany’s Footballers of the Year at FC Bayern since 1960:

2017 Philipp Lahm
2016 Jérôme Boateng
2014 Manuel Neuer
2013 Bastian Schweinsteiger
2010 Arjen Robben
2008 Franck Ribéry
2005 Michael Ballack
2003 Michael Ballack
2001 Oliver Kahn
2000 Oliver Kahn
1999 Lothar Matthäus
1981 Paul Breitner
1980 Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
1978 Sepp Maier
1977 Sepp Maier
1976 Franz Beckenbauer
1975 Sepp Maier
1974 Franz Beckenbauer
1969 Gerd Müller
1968 Franz Beckenbauer
1967 Gerd Müller
1966 Franz Beckenbauer
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Bayern brave the heat in Shanghai

Bayern had already got a taste of the heat they can expect during the first stage of the Audi Summer Tour 2017 on their day of arrival. Then on Tuesday morning, it was down to work! At 11 AM local time Carlo Ancelotti put his players through a sweaty training session on the outside pitch next to the Shanghai Stadium, which was only slightly shaded by the city’s high-rise buildings.

A light warm-up with hurdles and gentle passing exercises was followed by a drinks break. More passing exercises, this time a bit quicker, and then another drinks break. The coaching and support team were paying particular attention to liquid intake, which will be vital on these hot days. It was 35 degrees with 80% humidity this morning, and for the players that means they must take on an extra two litres of fluid per training session!

Water was wheeled around in crates, not just for the players but also the handful of spectators who were allowed to attend the closed training session and who were drenched as if they’d just walked through a downpour. After an hour and a few set-pieces to finish with, the first session of the day was done. And how was it? “Hot!” answered David Alaba bluntly.

It’s a busy day for Bayern. At 16:30 local time (3:30 AM ET) there’ll be a press conference with Carlo Ancelotti and Thomas Müller, followed by the final training session – this time in the Shanghai Stadium – ahead of tomorrow’s friendly against Arsenal. There are also some marketing activities on the programme for this evening, so it’s staying hot in Shanghai!
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Müller: Kami mahu beri sesuatu kepada peminat

Müller: We want to give the fans something

While the Bayern squad completed their second training session of the day at the Shanghai Stadium, the spectators in the stands were trying to keep themselves cool. It was very warm again in the afternoon in China, but Carlo Ancelotti saw no reason to reduce the workload. Thiago did not take part in the session after picking up a knock in the Telekom Cup, and he is doubtful for Wednesday’s match against Arsenal (19:30 local time, 6:30 AM ET).

“The game against Arsenal will help us to get into shape and prepare for the start of the season,” said Ancelotti on the importance of the friendly against the Premier League side. Bayern also want to “give something” to the fans, as Thomas Müller explained. The Chinese fans fervently cheered every good bit of play on Tuesday, constantly chanting “Super Bayern”. “It makes you glad when you come here and see the support for FC Bayern.”

“We need to give our all”

Rafinha also enjoys the enthusiasm of the supporters. “The Chinese love European football,” knows the Brazilian, who is visiting China with FC Bayern for the third time. The right-back still has to adjust to the climate, though. “In Brazil it’s also very hot but this is something else,” he laughed. “Nevertheless we’re working at high intensity. We need to give our all because the training camp is important for the whole season.”

Bayern’s motivation is unwavering following five Bundesliga titles in a row. “It’s not about winning titles, for us it’s about being the best. And you only do that when you’re getting the points and sitting at the top every week,” commented Müller. “It doesn’t matter that we’ve won the title for the last five years. Our motivation is looking at the table every week and seeing Bayern München at the top. Then we’re happy and we can have a nice Sunday. That’s what we work for every day.”
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FCB primed for the Audi Summer Tour

Summer pre-season has been a successful affair for FCB so far. After convincing victories over Wolfratshausen and Erlangen-Bruck and the Telekom Cup triumph FC Bayern go east on Sunday. The German record champions will depart for the Audi Summer Tour to China and Singapore in the late evening.

Carlo Ancelotti has called up a top-notch squad for the highlight of pre-season. The FCB head coach has almost the complete squad at his disposal, including the recent arrivals James Rodríguez and Corentin Tolisso, world champions Thomas Müller and Mats Hummels as well as top striker Robert Lewandowski. Some reserves and U-19 players will join the pros.

The Bavarians will have to make do without three household names. Manuel Neuer (foot fracture), Jérôme Boateng (thigh injury) and Arjen Robben (calf injury) will stay in Munich. The trio will make use of the ideal conditions at the Säbener Strasse facility to speed up their recovery. Confed Cup finalists Joshua Kimmich, Sebastian Rudy, Niklas Süle and Arturo Vidal will join their team-mates after the Audi Summer Tour. Some former Bayern stars like Miroslav Klose will accompany Ancelotti's men to Asia.

The FCB pros are in for numerous demanding training sessions and friendlies against heavyweights Arsenal (19 July), AC Milan (22 July), Chelsea (25 July) and Inter Milan (27 July). "Everything's coordinated with Carlo Ancelotti. The players can really get to know each other, it's a good opportunity to settle in, especially for the new players," said chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

The Bayern squad for the Audi Summer Tour 2017:

Alaba, Bernat, Coman, Dorsch, Friedl, Früchtl, Götze, Hoffmann, Hummels, James, Lewandowski, Martínez, Müller, Pantovic, Rafinha, Ribéry, Sanches, Starke, Thiago, Tolisso, Ulreich, Wintzheimer
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