Lahm wants to retain armband


BERLIN, July 5 – Germany skipper Philipp Lahm warned Michael Ballack on Monday that he wants to remain captain of the national side after the World Cup."The captain’s role has brought me a lot of pleasure. It’s a real joy. Why would I want to give it back?" the Bayern Munich full-back told Bild newspaper in an interview to be published on Tuesday.

Lahm will be winning his 71st cap on Wednesday when he leads Germany out for the World Cup semi-final against Spain in Durban, having taken over as captain when Ballack was forced to miss the World Cup through injury.

"I’d love to keep the armband, I want more responsibilities. But we will see what happens."

Lahm, at 26, is seven years younger than Ballack, who has won 98 caps but whose international future is in doubt.

"He doesn’t appear to have answered yes or no to that question," said Lahm.