March 26, 2017

Philipp Lahm Will Retire at Season End

Following his club’s 1:0 DFB Pokal victory over VfL Wolfsburg Tuesday, Philipp Lahm confirmed the news that swept through social media when photos of the cover of the newest issue of SportBild announced the retirement on its front page.

“I have told (club) officials that I will stop playing football at the end of the season,” said the long-standing captain of the Rekordmeister after playing his 500th match for FC Bayern München.

The 33-year-old defender retired from international football after leading Germany to World Cup glory in Brazil in 2014. His current contract with Bayern runs into next summer, but Lahm says he is ready to end his playing career.

“I see my leadership style as being of the sort that I give my best every day, every training session, every match. I believe that I am capable of delivering that through the end of the season, but not beyond that,” explained Lahm. “That is why it is clear for me that I will quit.”

Lahm confirmed that the club has discussed with him the possibility of his filling the role of Sporting Director that was vacated by Matthias Sammer last summer, but that if he does so, it won’t be immediately.

When asked whether it was difficult to make the decision to retire, Lahm was typically pragmatic.

“Such a thing matures easily. I love football and football has given me very, very much,” says Lahm. “Nonetheless, I am not yet at the end. There remains still a few months, and I hope that they will be very, very successful.

But apart from that, you simply come to the end sometime, and I wanted to determine that ending for myself.”

 

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Randall Hauk is a freelance writer living in the United States while covering German football. He is currently the publisher of Planet Effzeh, an English-language site covering 1. FC Köln. He wrote about the German national team for the Telegraph as part of their World Cup Nation coverage.

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