18 July 2014 18:25
Lothar Matthaus believes Philipp Lahm’s decision to retire from international football will benefit his club Bayern Munich.
Lahm called time on his career with Germany after making 113 appearances less than a week after lifting the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The Bayern Munich skipper featured in three World Cups and three European Championships after making his international bow in 2004 and Matthaus feels he will be sorely missed.
However, Matthaus, World Cup-winning captain in 1990, feels the lack of Germany commitments will benefit the 30-year-old in other areas.
“For Bayern, it is certainly good. Philip has tried to take his foot off the accelerator a bit to maintain fitness for other important tasks,” he told Sky Sports News.
“He was a great captain who has brought top performances over the years and that deserves great recognition.
“Now [he will get] a bit more privacy, less pressure in the public, including some more breaks and less games, and full fitness for Bayern.”
Lahm was only 37 appearances behind reaching Matthaus’ record of 150 for Germany.
With Joachim Low now searching for a replacement captain, Matthaus predicted Bastian Schweinsteiger would be the one to step up.
“You do not need to think twice. I assume that Bastian Schweinsteiger takes over the captaincy, he was also vice-captain,” Matthaus added.
“Sami Khedira and Manuel Neuer will then move up.”