Philipp Lahm: Bayern Munich players already planning for life without me
Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm has said he hopes Thomas Muller will miss him a little when he retires from football after his final game on Saturday.
Lahm, 33, will lead Bayern out for the final time -- on his 517th appearance for the club as the Bundesliga champions celebrate a fifth consecutive title. Xabi Alonso, 35, will also call time on his illustrious career, as well as 36-year-old third-choice goalkeeper Tom Starke against Freiburg.
Speaking at his farewell news conference at Bayern HQ at Sabenerstrasse in Munich, Lahm said his teammates had already started talking about life at the club next season "when Alonso and I are still on holiday."
He said: "For example, I name Thomas Muller with whom I have played Bayern 346 games. I hope it hurts him a little when I'm no longer there to play cards or sitting next to him in the changing room."
Ahead of his 385th and final Bundesliga game, Lahm added: "I simply want to enjoy the whole day. I cannot wait for the game -- the last moments with the team, training staff and club employees. The fans in the stadium and the celebration in Marienplatz. At the moment I can only feel anticipation, it's going to be an exciting day for me.
"Everything's going to be for the last time -- the last time in a hotel, the last time eating lunch with the team, travelling to the game with the team, playing in a sell-out stadium which is always special. The last concentrated warm-up together. The last time on city hall balcony celebrating this last title with the fans.
"What I'll probably miss the most are the moments in the changing rooms with the team and the staff, and all the people we travel around with.
"I just hope that the fans will remember me as a good footballer. Because that's what I was, without wishing to sound arrogant."
"I'm going to take a step back after 22 years at Bayern and a brief spell at Stuttgart," he said. "I'll take some time out to learn a few other things, get to know some different people and subjects, then we will see what happens in the future."
Lahm, who has won eight Bundesliga titles, six DFB Pokals and reached the Champions League final on three occasions, winning once as Bayern completed the Treble in 2012-13, was unable to select just one moment from his career that stands out above the others.
"I've played over 500 games so there's obviously a lot of special moments," he said. "However, my first competitive appearance for the club in the Champions League was an unforgettable moment. It was a meaningless game and I only played for about three minutes in the Olympiastadion.
"The first Bundesliga title, the first DFB Pokal win, the Champions League and the triple were all special too."
He added: "The Champions League final defeats [in 2010 and 2012] were emotional. I'd like to forget these but losing is part of the game and overall everything has turned out fine."
Asked about his plans for the coming Monday when he begins a first week of retirement, Lahm already had his day well organised.
"My son Julian will wake me at 7:00 a.m. and I'll drive him to kindergarten. Then I'll head to Sabenerstrasse, clean out my locker and hand out a few presents to the staff. It's also my mother's birthday so it promises to be a pleasant Monday," Lahm said.
Lahm confirmed that he was planning to visit former Bayern teammate Bastian Schweinsteiger, now plying his trade at Chicago Fire in the MLS.
He said: "We've remained in contact the past few years which is nice as we have a lot in common. I don't know when I will fly across the pond but when I do I will visit Basti."
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.