Lahm to captain Germany


BERLIN, May 27 – Bayern Munich defender Philipp Lahm has been named Germany captain for the World Cup to replace injured Chelsea star Michael Ballack, newspapers reported on Thursday.Ballack withdrew last week from the June 11-July 11 World Cup finals in South Africa with an ankle injury sustained in a heavy tackle by Portsmouth’s Germany-born Ghanaian Kevin-Prince Boateng in England’s FA Cup final.

The reports also said that coach Joachim Loew will name Schalke’s Manuel Neuer as Germany’s first-choice goalkeeper after Bayer Leverkusen’s Rene Adler was forced to withdraw with a rib injury in April.

Loew was due to make a formal announcement ahead of Germany’s friendly away against Hungary on Saturday, papers said.