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Aug 11, 2014

Manuel Neuer eyes Germany captaincy

ESPN FC's Craig Burley believes that Philipp Lahm is still at the top of his game and shouldn't have retired from international football.

Manuel Neuer has told kicker he is ready to captain Germany, although he would choose a midfielder for the role.

Manuel Neuer wins German POTY

In early September, Germany are set to play their first match as the World Cup winners when they take on Argentina in a rematch of the Rio de Janeiro final in Dusseldorf.

It will be the first game without Philipp Lahm, who retired from international football following their World Cup triumph.

Head coach Joachim Low has yet to announce the new Germany captain, leading to speculation in the German media about who will be Lahm's successor.

Keeper Neuer has been named among other candidates, along with Bastian Schweinsteiger or Mats Hummels.

"If I were coach I'd opt for someone from midfield. The communication with the ref is so much easier there," Neuer told kicker.

The Bayern Munich shot-stopper captained Schalke before his 2011 move to Bavaria, and explained that he found it difficult at times.

"The referee rarely is at hand. And I was booked, also as the Schalke captain, when I left the box to talk to him," he said.

Regardless of his past experience, he added that he would like to be captain of the Nationalmannschaft if needed.

"Of course, I think I am capable of captaincy," Neuer said. "But there would have to be talks with the coach and a few players about that to find the right solution."

"I'd say that, yes. I notice it when I talk to those responsible, when they want to hear my opinion or when talk about football. I believe that I have my say in the team and that I have gained acceptance and standing in the past few years."

His performances at the 2014 World Cup have not only won Neuer the Germany Player of the Year title and the Golden Glove, but have also made him a contender for the 2014 Ballon d'Or. "I would certainly not turn down the accolade. But let's not get ahead of the vote," he said.

In 2013, Neuer lifted the Champions League trophy with Bayern, and a year later he claimed World Cup glory with Germany. When asked to rank the titles, the 28-year-old put the World Cup above Champions League.

"It's more difficult to achieve something with the national team, because players from several clubs get together and less frequently," Neuer said.

"It's a different way of working. And especially in 2014 some of the key players joined the team later because of injury problems."

Neuer had been one of them, following a shoulder injury in the German Cup final in May -- the keeper only resumed team training a few days before the opening match against Portugal.

"That's why this title is so special," he said. "It's easier to fine tune in club football, and you have the chance to win the Champions League every year."

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