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The Bayern Munich captain, Philipp Lahm, has announced he will retire from football at the end of the season.
The 33-year-old has a year left on his contract with the defending Bundesliga champions and had previously said he would leave the game after honouring that deal. Yet the former Germany full-back now says he will walk away early and that he has rejected an offer from the club to become a sporting director.
In comments reported by Kicker Lahm said: “I have told the club I will stop playing at the end of the season.
“My leadership style is in the way I give my best every day, in every training session and every match. I believe I can do this until the end of the season but not beyond then. It is clear to me I will stop.”
Lahm announced the news after Bayern’s 1-0 win over Wolfsburg in the DFB Cup, having made his 500th Bayern appearance against Schalke on Saturday.
Asked about the possibility of staying at the club in a different role, Lahm confirmed he had discussed taking up the sporting director position vacated by Matthias Sammer last July.
Lahm said: “There were discussions but at the end of those discussions I decided myself that this is not the best time for me.”
A World Cup winner with Germany, Lahm is aiming to win a record eighth Bundesliga title this season. He has won seven Bundesliga titles, six DFB Cups, the Champions League and the Club World Cup with Bayern and captained Germany to World Cup victory in 2014 before announcing his retirement from international football.
2017.02.08 / 09:36