Philipp Lahm profile
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Exciting full back who appears back to his best after injury, Philipp Lahm has the perfect stage to demonstrate his class.
After missing virtually the whole of 2005, Lahm will be aiming to make up for lost time during Germany's World Cup challenge on home soil.
''He has enormous pace and plays care free, while he has also shown that tactically he is up to date with the flat back-four. He knows exactly when to press forward and when to remain at the back in order not to give his opponent any space.''
Rudi Voller, former Germany coach
Lahm joined current club Bayern Munich as an 11-year-old and made his debut in a UEFA Champions League tie against Lens in the 2002/03 season.
Earlier in 2002, Lahm had reached the final of the Uefa European Under-19 Championship, but it was at Stuttgart where the left back made his name.
Bayern loaned Lahm to Stuttgart in the summer of 2003 on a two-year deal, with the Schwaben coached by Felix Magath at the time.
During his first season at the Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion, Lahm made his debut for Germany in a February friendly against Croatia.
His first international goal arrived in his third appearance, against Romania, and he played in all three of his country's matches at Euro 2004.
But Lahm's burgeoning international career ground to a halt in 2005 when he suffered a stress fracture to his foot in the January. Worse was to follow in May, when the stylish defender tore his cruciate ligaments.
By the time Lahm was fit to return to action in November last year, he had headed back to Bayern, who now had Magath at the helm.
Bayern handed Lahm a fillip during his injury absence by offering a contract until 2009 and the 22-year-old is the long-term replacement for the retiring Bixente Lizarazu at left back.
Lahm's rehabilitation was complete when he returned to the Germany team for the friendly defeat to Italy in early March and he will be among the most exciting full backs on show at the World Cup.