The Germany and Bayern Munich captain, Philipp Lahm, was voted world's number 10 by the Soccer-Laduma journalists.
The 30-year-old is considered one of the best full-backs in history and had a massive impact in Bayern Munich’s record-breaking 2012-13 season with five trophies.
Although Lahm is right-footed, he is able to play on both sides of the pitch and started his career as left-back in 2004, when at loan with VFB Stuttgart.
It was only in 2009, under Louis van Gaal when Lahm was shifted to the right and Pep Guardiola has even played him in holding or central midfield this season.
He is well-known for his pace, dribbling and precise tackling as well as his small stature.
Before 2013, Phillip Lahm belonged to a Bayern Munich and Germany generation, which was well-known for their talent and domestic success, but had failed to win an international trophy.
He was vice-captain when Bayern lost the 2010 Champions League final to Jose Mourinho’s Inter and captained the Munich side which lost to Chelsea in the 2012 Champions League final in their own backyard.
On international level, Lahm has 104 caps and been part of the Germany team which became third at the 2006 and 2010 World Cup’s, Runner-up in the EURO 2008 and third in the EURO 2012.
However, Lahm’s fortunes changed last season.
First, his Bayern Munich side won the German double in record-breaking manner and in May they finally won their first Champions League final in their third attempt.
The Bayern captain, who joined the Bavarians as an 11-year-old, describes the moment when he finally lifted the “Henkelpott” as the biggest moment in his career.
They went on to win the European Super Cup at the beginning of the new season and recently the FIFA Club World Cup as the fifth title in the clubs most successful year in its history.
In the 2012-13 season, Lahm overall played 46 games in all club competitions and helped Munich with 17 assists to their title glories. Almost more impressive are the 26 clean sheets of the Bayern Munich defence along the way.
Bayern and Lahm have started the new season under Pep Guardiola in similar fashion, leading the Bundesliga table by seven points with one game in hand and only conceding eight goals so far.
Since the arrival of Bayern’s new coach, Pep Guardiola, Lahm has also been utilised as a defensive and central midfielder and Guardiola says about his captain: “(He) is the most intelligent player I have ever trained in my career. He is on another level.”
There is nothing more to say, besides that Philipp Lahm fully deserves to be the only defender in Soccer-Laduma’s world’stop 10.
By David Kappel