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Lahm named Germany captain for finals
Philipp Lahm has been confirmed as Germany's new captain, although he will not be leading the team out for their friendly international against Hungary on Saturday.

Lahm will wear the captain's armband in South Africa due to the injury-enforced withdrawal of Michael Ballack while Bastian Schweinsteiger has been named as vice-captain.

"I think both players have an important role and will take on lots of responsibility,'' Germany coach Joachim Low said.

"Both have played a really good season with Bayern Munich and, in the past few years with the national team, they have played a very important role.

"Their performances with Bayern this season have confirmed that they are capable of taking on responsibility.''

Although Lahm will wear the captain's armband, Low expects Schweinsteiger to be more at the centre of the action, purely due to his position on the field. He therefore is a more natural successor to Ballack.

"Schweinsteiger should take the role of Michael Ballack,'' he said. "He has a similar way of playing and can take Ballack's role. He is an emotional leader, a motor for our team and always pushes the team from midfield.''

Miroslav Klose, the man with the most caps in Low's squad, missed out on the captaincy due to the fact he has not played many games this season for Bayern.

However, that does not mean Low has any doubts about him hitting top form by the time Germany kick-off their World Cup campaign against Australia on June 13.

"Of course Klose was also a justifiable candidate for this position,'' Low said. "He has not had an easy season and not always played, but he remains a very, very important player for us.

"He is a role model for many of our young players, who go to him in the dressing room or outside for advice.

"He is important, even if he is not captain, not only for the goals he scored in qualifying, but for everything he has done for us in the past.

"In training and in the two games we have (before the World Cup), we want to get him back into the form we know of him.''
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