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Bayern’s worst-kept secret: Manuel Neuer confirmed as the next captain

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Everybody knew it, but now Rummenigge has confirmed it.

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Ever since Philipp Lahm announced that he was retiring at the end of the 2016/17 season, speculation was in full swing on who would be his heir to the captaincy at FC Bayern.

Would it be Thomas Müller, the only real Bavarian left on the entire roster, or was he too goofy? Would Jerome Boateng, the defensive boss — when he’s healthy — become the first black captain in the club’s history? Did Mats Hummels stand a chance, having already served as captain at his previous club, Borussia Dortmund, or was it too early, having only been at the club for a season? Or would it be the logical choice, Manuel Neuer, tapping the man who took over the armband in the German national team after Lahm’s international retirement after World Cup 2014, and already serving as a vice-captain?

Well, most people expected the new captain to be Neuer, but the club had, so far, not made any official announcement. Until today ... sort of. In a response to a question from Munich newspaper TZ, the club’s CEO, Karl Heinz Rummenigge let the cat out of the bag:

Our number one is our number one - Manuel Neuer. He is an accomplished man, who will now take over the armband from Philipp Lahm. He has progressed amazingly in the national team - not only on but also off the field.

Well, so much for the suspense. It’s as official as it can get, coming straight from the head honcho’s mouth, without being actually officially announced by the club. But, just to keep Bayern fans guessing, KHR did leave the question of who will move up in the hierarchy open.

When spots open up, there will surely be players who are chomping at the bit and would like to take those spots. And that’s a good thing - I’m speaking from my own experience.

The man knows a little something about legends leaving a void at the club.

And, just to add to the intrigue, along with the names mentioned above, he offered his dark horse pick for a future leadership role, after this player demonstrated his ambitions during the Confederations Cup: Joshua Kimmich.

Weigh in, and let us know who you would like to see leading this team, both for this season, and in the long term.