Lahm replaces Ballack as Germany captain

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Bayern Munich defender Philipp Lahm has been confirmed as Germany captain for the World Cup 2010 in place of injured Michael Ballack.

Chelsea midfielder Ballack was ruled out of the tournament due to an ankle problem he sustained in the FA Cup final two weeks ago.

Coach Joachim Löw has now decided to hand the armband to Lahm, the most experienced players in the squad with 64 international caps to his name.

"Lahm has played in his position with great class and will take over the role of captain," Löw told reporters at Germany's Italian training camp.

"Philipp does very well the things which are required by a coach. He is someone who is not afraid to express his opinions. He is a player who puts a lot of thought into his actions."

Low also confirmed Lahm's Bayern team-mate midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger as vice-captain.

He added: "With our young team we want to have the responsibilities shared by several players.

"Bastian Schweinsteiger, on the pitch, will play the role of Ballack and interpret it in his way while Philipp Lahm will become captain. Schweinsteiger will be the vice captain."

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