Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm has confirmed that he will put an end to his illustrious career at the end of this season.
German outlet SportBild exposed the news just before Bayern’s DFB Pokal game on Tuesday, and Lahm after his team’s 1-0 victory against Wolfsburg confirmed the news.
“I’ve told the Bayern officials that I’m retiring from playing at the end of the season,” he told reporters. “I see my style of leadership in the way that I give my best every day, in training and in every game. I think I’m capable of doing that until the end of the season but no longer than that.
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“Therefore it’s clear to me that I’m going to retire. I said over a year ago that you’ve got to always check and ask yourself, how are you training and how you are feeling.
“I’m sure that I can deliver top performances until the end of the season, but no longer than that.”
In his last few months, Lahm is keen to win a record-equalling eighth Bundesliga crown.
The 33-year-old German’s contract with the Bavarians runs until 2018 but the Munich-born defender had already revealed back in November that he could quit a year ahead of schedule.
Lahm surprised even Bayern manager Carlo Ancelotti also, as the Italian was unaware that his skipper will retire in the summer.
Lahm led Bayern to win the 2013 Champions League all-German final at Wembley against Borussia Dortmund and has also won the German Cup six times.
He announced his retirement from international football as Germany’s World Cup-winning captain in the aftermath of the 2014 triumph in Brazil.
Bayern Munich’s longest-serving player is now widely tipped to take over as the Bundesliga giants’ sporting director role after his playing days came to end. The position has not been filled since previous director Matthias Sammer retired due to illness.