Philipp Lahm’s magnificent career will come to an end after the season. The Bayern Munich and Germany legend announced that he will retire after the campaign, bringing a 15-year career to a close.
Lahm may be the most decorated player in the history of German soccer. He has won the Bundesliga seven times, the DFB-Pokal six times and added the Champions League in 2013. He could add to all those totals this season too, further filling a resume that also includes captaining Germany to the 2014 World Cup.
It’s not as if Lahm has to retire. The 33-year-old is still plenty good enough, continuing to captain Bayern Munich this season. He’s a starter for the Bavarian giants and age hasn’t slowed him down much. Pep Guardiola called him the “most intelligent” player he ever coached, using him both in defense and in the midfield because his ability to read the game — not to mention his skill on the ball — made him excellent wherever the team needed him. Lahm’s contract extends through next season, too, so it’s not as if he was going to be pushed out, but Lahm has decided that he’s had enough.
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Lahm was reportedly offered the job of Bayern Munich sporting director upon his retirement, but opted to turn it down. Whether that’s because he wants to get away from the sport, just needs a break is unclear or wants a different job is unclear, but it’s obvious that he has a role with Bayern or really anywhere in soccer if he wants it. It’s a perk fitting for a legend like himself, and one who is among the smartest the sport has ever seen.
In the meantime, Lahm will focus on finishing out the season with Bayern, where they can still capture the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League. That’s three more trophies he can add to an already packed trophy case and a legacy that needs no shine, but may get it anyway.