Growing up with Bayern is like living a dream
It will be a great privilege to play in front of thousands of Indians in a match between your national team and my club, FC Bayern Munich, in your capital in January 2012. Philipp Lahm writes.india Updated: Dec 29, 2011 23:45 IST
Guten Tag (good day) to all our football friends and fans in India! I'm privileged to be in a position to write directly to millions of sports-loving people in your ancient country. In all my years of playing football, I have travelled across the world, but surprisingly, never been to India. It will be a great privilege to play in front of thousands of Indians in a match between your national team and my club, FC Bayern Munich, in your capital in January 2012.
We've heard that your country worships sports heroes, especially in cricket. Well, football is an international sport and popular throughout the world. It's also an honour that Bayern Munich has been invited to play a match to bid adieu to your football icon, Bhaichung Bhutia. All of us at Bayern Munich salute him for his contribution to football in your country and we wish him all the best for the future.
As a young footballer I used to look up to a number of stars for inspiration and I understand what Bhaichung must have done for all young Indians aspiring to be footballers.
I've practically grown up with FC Bayern Munich since the age of 11. In my case, a talent scout noticed me when I was playing for a local youth team at Gern in Munich. To grow up and play for FC Bayern Munich and eventually Germany has been truly a dream come true.
The club's Hall of Fame has some of the most illustrious footballers the game has produced such as the great 'Kaiser' Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Mueller, Paul Breitner, Uli Hoeness, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Lothar Matthaeus and Oliver Kahn to name a few.
The sojourn to India, we are hoping, will mark a new era of friendship and learning for both sides.
(Lahm is the captain of FC Bayern and Germany, and was the youngest German captain in a World Cup)