The Bayern Munich legend is considered a Bundesliga legend

The fromer Bayern Munich player is considered a Bundesliga legend. Lahm won 8 Bundesliga titles in his time with Bayern Munich. He also lifetd the FIFA World Cup trophy with Germany in 2014. Lahm recent sat down with the Bundesliga media discussing a variety of topics.

Here is the full interview:

Who was your stand-out Bundesliga club during the year 2022?

I would say SC Freiburg, because they were able to qualify for the Europa League at the end of 2021-22. And the 2022-23 season has started sensationally again for them and they entered the winter break being in the Champions League spots. I think the reason for their success is that they have a clear playing philosophy. Of course, this comes down to the coach and they were able to show that they have a clear vision throughout the whole year.

Are there any other clubs that surprised you besides SC Freiburg?

Clearly, 1. FC Union Berlin in my opinion. They played a great second half of the 2021-22 season, qualified for Europe and are now playing at the top again – right from the start in 2022-23. There you can also see a clear game idea – how they want to play. Both clubs do not have the best teams and sets of players in the league, but they make a very good impression thanks to their style of play. This was not just the case over a few weeks, but really for the whole year.

Philipp Lahm Bundesliga
Phillipp Lahm has won 8 Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich

Who is your player of the year?

That is always difficult to answer. In a year like this, of course, there must be a bit of World Cup in the mix. I think, if there is one to choose, I have to say Jude Bellingham from Dortmund, who has developed very well so far. He is a crucial player at Dortmund. But also, Jamal Musiala, who especially in 2022-23 so far has made almost all games for FC Bayern München. He also played three good games at the World Cup. I would say those are the players because others have also struggled a bit. When I think of Leverkusen, who played a very good second half of 2021-22, but then started to struggle in the new season – the balance just did not seem right. RB Leipzig also experienced a few difficult games and weeks at the beginning of the current season. Of course, it has to be said that Christopher Nkunku, in particular, played a great year – but unfortunately got an injury at the end and was therefore unable to travel to the World Cup.

Which young player is the “one to watch” in 2023?

Unfortunately, I do not have a secret tip – my picks are Jamal Musiala and Jude Bellingham for this as well. They became established Bundesliga players over the past year. They are still developing, so there is still more for us to come in 2023. I am curious to see how they continue and how they find the right spot on the pitch

and in their teams. However, I would add two more players to the list. The first is RB Leipzig’s Joško Gvardiol, one of the best defenders in 2022. He just played a great World Cup for Croatia and developed into a crucial player at Leipzig. At a very young age, he shows such a great performance as a central defender. I do believe that he has really made his breakthrough this year, especially at the World Cup. Another young player to watch will be Bayer Leverkusen’s Florian Wirtz. He was able to establish himself in the league just as quickly as Bellingham and Musiala but was set back by injury. I cannot wait to see him back, especially given that he is such an important player for Leverkusen. I hope he can continue where he left off and show his great talent.

Who is your coach of the year?

Christian Streich is my coach of the year. Urs Fischer has done a great job as well, but Streich’s continuity at SC Feiburg is unrivalled. He is the one who made Freiburg’s development possible with his dependability. When he took over, Freiburg were a yo-yo club – regularly being relegated and promoted. Since he took over, they developed into a household name in the Bundesliga and justified aims to regularly make it to European competitions. At this point, you could not imagine the Bundesliga without SC Freiburg. That is why he is the obvious choice for me. He has a clear vision of how a team should play football and he is able to slightly adapt his team’s playing style year after year. He is my coach of the year.

Who are you most excited about in 2023 – team and player?

It is always tough to nail this down to clubs or names. I am excited to see how the race for the Bundesliga title will proceed. I hope that it will be a tight competition. At the bottom of the table, it will definitely come down to the wire. There are many open questions – those are the things that I am excited about.

Regarding players, I have already mentioned a few. We will have to see what happens during the transfer window. There might be a few surprises in store. Additionally, the league will be starting after a very long winter break because of the World Cup. Will the teams and players be able to find their playing rhythm after this – especially the ones who did not go to the World Cup? I am very excited to see how they will deal with this new situation.

I do think that teams were trying to focus a lot on possession of the ball and high pressing. Those are the attributes that we have seen from a lot of teams this year. Looking at Union Berlin and SC Freiburg, which I have already mentioned as outstanding teams, they had a different approach. Both were trying to be very compact in defence and defend as a unity. We have seen these two different

approaches at the World Cup as well. I am very curious to see how this will develop next year as we have seen over the first half of this season how important it is to be well organized in defence and be able to act and attack once in possession of the ball. I could imagine that the compactness in defence will become more important in 2023 – Union Berlin and SC Freiburg show that this works. The World Cup always sets trends as well. Looking at the semi-finalists, we can see that they were successful because of their compact defending in addition to their quality in attack.

Do you have any big predictions for the remainder of the season?

I am hoping for surprises, especially when it comes to the teams qualifying for the Champions League. It is very well possible that we will see teams in the top four that we did not expect before the season, and the current Bundesliga table shows how much is possible. Teams like SC Freiburg who are not the usual suspects could make it. However, I do think that Bayern, Dortmund and Leipzig will make it.

Leverkusen just lost too many points early in the season, so there is a chance for different teams to make it. Especially SC Freiburg and Union Berlin show that continuity and identification can move a lot of things forward. I am very excited to see who will take that fourth Champions League spot.

Another question will be how the teams are returning after this long winter break next year. This is hard to predict as this a new situation for everyone. The clubs are approaching the long break in very different ways: Some just continued training, others have taken quite long breaks, and some had a mix of breaks and periods of training. I am very curious to see how the teams are coming back and what will happen.

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