Ballack hits back at Lahm’s Germany captaincy claims

FRANKFURT, (Reuters) – Michael Ballack has hit back  at Philipp Lahm’s wish to stay as German captain after his stint  in charge during the World Cup when regular skipper Ballack was  ruled out with injury.

Lahm said in an interview during the World Cup that he would  not give up the captain’s armband of his own free will, a  comment which has annoyed Ballack.

“I am still captain of the national team,” Ballack was  quoted by German newspapers as saying at a news conference on  Wednesday following his return to Bayer Leverkusen. “I have  absolute trust in the German coach (Joachim Loew).”

He was also critical of Lahm’s timing.

“These comments irritated me. It is unlucky when you are  injured and you are spoken about. You cannot go on the pitch and  show the critics what you can do. You are powerless,” he said.
Lahm took over the German captaincy after Ballack injured  his ankle during former club Chelsea’s FA Cup final victory over  Portsmouth in May.

Germany performed strongly during the tournament in South  Africa. They finishing third, scoring four goals in three  separate matches before falling to eventual winners Spain in the  semi-final.

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