National team coach Joachim Low yesterday confirmed defender Lahm as the man to lead Germany out in South Africa, replacing the injured Michael Ballack, and Matthaus is confident the 26-year-old will do well.
"He is respected in the squad and has deputised for Ballack in the recent internationals when he was injured," Matthaus said. "Lahm has always performed well and has a great deal of experience. He has already taken part in several big tournaments and represents the whole team's opinion. In addition, he has a strong contingent of six Bayern players behind him."
With that in mind, Matthaus believes Low did right in choosing Lahm ahead of his club-mates Miroslav Klose and Bastian Schweinsteiger. Lahm becomes the youngest captain of a Germany national team at a World Cup but is nevertheless still a role model to those around him.
"As captain, you are there for the younger and more inexperienced players to lean on you," said Matthaus in the Abendzeitung newspaper. "Lahm is the right captain."