After 571 professional appearances, Bayern Munich legend Phillip Lahm has announced that he will retire from football at the end of the current season. The German international has spent 15 years at the top of the game, winning every possible competition in the process.
At just 33 years of age, Lahm is the most decorated player in German history, winning the Bundesliga seven times, the DFB-Pokal six times and the Champions League in 2013. As well as winning the 2014 World Cup with Germany, Lahm could win a record 8th league title with Bayern come the end of the season.
Lahm still has plenty left in the tank, with former Bayern boss Pep Guardiola calling him the “most intelligent” player he has ever coached during his time in Germany. Having starred both in defence and midfield for both club and country, his ability to read the game, along with his skill on the ball made him an asset to any manager.
However, despite this, Lahm has chosen to end his career at the top, having already written himself into the record books. With Betser league backing Bayern to claim a fifth consecutive title, Lahm could well depart the Allianz Arena with another trophy in his hands.
Despite Bayern offering Lahm possibilities to continue both on and off the field at the German champions, with a sporting director role in particular being mooted, the legendary figure is understood to be keen to get away from the sport.
What the future holds for Lahm remains unclear, however it is certain that he will always have a place with Bayern, whatever capacity that may be in. Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League success will be at the forefront of Lahm’s thoughts over the coming months, with three winner’s medals to potentially add to his collection.
Lahm’s decision certainly came as a shock to Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, with many at the club having expected the player to continue his playing days into next season.
Meanwhile, Lahm has been more than vocal in his criticism of the Ballon d’Or awards, with many within the game feeling that the German should have featured among the finalists on more than one occasion. The record appearance maker recently stated that the award was more of a competition for the “best striker” rather than best player in Europe.
Bayern have a Champions League Round of 16 encounter with English Premier League side Arsenal to look forward to in the coming weeks, with former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti looking to once again get one over on Gunners boss Arsene Wenger.