20140328/fifa: Philipp Lahm article

Philipp Lahm:“We can win the treble again”

2014.3.28

http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/af-magazine/fifaweekly/02/30/52/70/lowres_eng_woche13_2014_neutral.pdf

Beating Hertha Berlin last Tuesday was a significant step towards achieving our aims for this season. We have successfully defended our league title, and not just any old how – we have beaten our own record from the previous campaign by one match and are now celebrating the earliest title triumph in Bundesliga history! After only 27 games!

When asked last season if I was aware which records we could break this year, I said no. At the end of the day, it’s winning titles that counts and it doesn’t matter whether you win with 70, 80 or 100 points. But as our confidence and self-assuredness grew and our dominance in the league became more pronounced, we started talking more about records and statistics during training and in the dressing room. There are a load of stats regarding our most recent triumph in 2013/14. For all the talk of our style of play and the general appeal of our matches, the numbers prove beyond doubt what we said after our treble victory in 2012/13: the current Bayern team remains hungry for success. Our willingness to fight and our motivation are as great as ever. We’ve now gone 52 games without defeat – the AC Milan side of the early 90s only managed to go six more matches without losing.

That’s an incentive, as is the chance to goan entire league season without defeat. No team has managed that in the Bundesliga’s 51-year history. If anyone’s capable of doing so, it’s this team. Our mentality, personality and character is reminiscent of the Bayern side of the 70s. Therefore, our overall objective has to be to win the treble again. We have the quality. Our Bundesliga triumphs give us self-belief and allow the team to blossom further.

Every training session is about making the starting eleven. This incredible hunger for success sets Bayern apart. Now that we’ve achieved our first goal, our attention turns to the remaining challenges this season. The knockout round of the UEFA Champions League requires complete concentration and a top performance. Domestically, there are plenty more incentives that keep things interesting: Our leading scorers can try and match the all time record of 101 goals set in the 71/72 season, and Manuel Neuer can beat his own record of 18 goals conceded, as long as he doesn’t concede more than another five. The whole team has to work hard going forward, as well as in defence. We want to better our points tally of 91 last season. We can also finish the campaign with a perfect home record and set a new mark for most victories during a single season.

So, if anyone asks me the same question this season: yes, I know about the records we can break. But the most important thing for Bayern are the titles. Winning the league in March was the first step. Now we’re looking forward to Manchester United and the Cup. 


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