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On the spot

Philipp Lahm

We met with Bayern Munich and Germany defender Philipp Lahm at his foundation in Munich. The 25-year-old is currently out injured but he found time to talk to us about football and his charity work.

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DW-TV:

How are you and how's the foot?

Philipp Lahm:

Fine thanks. As you can see I'm in plaster and I'm on crutches, so things could be better.

We're here at the Philipp Lahm Foundation. What does it do?

These are the offices of the Philipp Lahm Foundation. This is where everything is managed. The Philipp Lahm Foundation supports children and young people in sport. Our focus is on football of course, but we also provide healthcare, and education and training support.

One of your projects is called "Shoes for Bokoji." Tell us about it.

Bokoji is a town in Ethiopia. The country is famous for its outstanding runners, marathon and long-distance runners like Haile Gebreselassie. The idea originally came from Deutsche Welle, who made a documentary film about Bokoji and about its runners. They approached the foundation and asked if we would provide running shoes and sports clothing for the people there. And we said we would love to give our support.

Silly question perhaps, but why does a German footballer want to get involved with the problems in Africa?

It's something close to my heart. When I was growing up I was very fortunate. I always had the support I needed and I always got what I needed. I went to South Africa last year and I saw how the people there live, and the conditions for the children and young people who grow up without a family. I played football with the kids there and they were really good. But there's no infrastructure for them to develop their talent. So I decided to set up a charity to help support the people of Africa.

Philipp's club, Bayern Munich has seen major changes since Jürgen Klinsmann took charge as coach. But after a jittery start to the season, the defending champs are back to their winning ways.

There have been a lot of changes at Bayern, not just the new training centre but the new coaching team and the new philosophy. It seems logical to me that it takes time. But I'm sure that it'll pay off this season and we'll definitely win the title at the end.

How is it to be coached by Jürgen Klinsmann as opposed to Ottmar Hitzfeld?

Coaches are different and they each have different ways of training the team. Jürgen Klinsmann's training methods are a bit more modern and we have a fitness coach now. We became familiar with his style when he coached Germany. He's now transferred that to Bayern. I have no problems with it at all and I'm very satisfied with his training.

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