This summer Eurosport is counting down the world's greatest footballers, as voted by our international network of journalists. We will reveal one player per day, culminating in the election of the first Ballon d'Eurosport on July 19.
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Full-backs are rarely flashy by their nature, but the fact that Lahm is now well established as the captain of both his club and country tells you all you need to know about how highly rated he is by his coaches and fellow players.
Lahm can play on the right or left side and his most impressive attribute is probably his balance. Whether sprinting back, dribbling, or going in for a tackle, his diminutive frame and low centre of gravity always seems to enable him to manoeuvre his body into the right position demanded by the situation.
The 29-year-old first proved himself during a two-season loan spell with Stuttgart between 2003-2005 but ever since then he has been a one-club man – and has five Bundesliga, five German Cup and at last one Champions League medal to his name.
He released his autobiography in 2011 and called it: "The Subtle Difference – How to Become a Top Footballer" – his candid views made it a controversial release, but nobody argued about the title.
How Eurosport voted
We asked the editorial teams of 10 countries/areas around the Eurosport network to compile their list of the world's 25 best players.
Then we did the sums, Eurovision-style. It's simple: a first-place vote is worth 25 points, second place is 24... all the way down to one point for a 25th-place vote.