Joachim Low has hosed down the controversy surrounding Philipp Lahm and Germany's captaincy ahead of their World Cup semi-final against Spain.

Lahm told the Bild newspaper he wants to retain the armband even when regular skipper Michael Ballack returns from injury after the tournament, causing an unnecessary distraction in the German camp less than 48 hours ahead of their crucial match in Durban.

Ballack left the camp shortly after the comments were made, creating the impression of a rift, but Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff has insisted Ballack always intended to visit the team during the quarter-finals and simply departed as scheduled.

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