Search icon


08th Feb 2017

Philipp Lahm’s retirement announcement took Bayern Munich by surprise

The end of an era.

Simon Lloyd

22 years after joining Bayern Munich’s youth setup, Philipp Lahm is calling time on his playing career.

The 33-year-old, who has won 20 major honours with his club and captained Germany to the 2014 World Cup, announced on Tuesday night that this season would be his last as a professional footballer.

“I can continue with my leadership style, giving my best every day, in every training, until the end of the season. I can keep doing it this season but not beyond,” he explained.

Given the duration of his association with Bayern, you’d be forgiven for assuming Lahm would have discussed such a decision at length with the club’s hierarchy. That, however, doesn’t appear to be the case.

A statement from chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has described the club’s ‘surprise’ at Lahm’s decision to hang up his boots – a year before his current contract with the club was due to expire.

The statement describes how Rummenigge and president Uli Hoeneß had held discussions with Lahm about a sporting director role when the time eventually came for him to retire from playing. However, Lahm informed them last week that he currently had no interest in such a role, also making clear his desire to terminate his contract a year early.

Rummenigge also adds that he’d expected a joint announcement to be made on the matter by club and player, whereas Lahm made made clear his retirement intentions independently of Bayern.

Rummenigge’s statement reads:

‘FC Bayern München is surprised by the approach of Philipp Lahm and his adviser. Uli Hoeneß and I have held open, intensive and constructive talks with Philipp in recent months about a possible position as sporting director of our club. At the end of last week, he informed us that he is currently not available for such a position and that he would like an early termination of his player contract, which runs to June 2018, at the end of the current season.

Unitl yesterday we assumed that there would be a joint announcement on this decision by Philipp Lahm and FC Bayern München.

Philipp Lahm has been an important player for Bayern München for over a decade. We are convinced our captain will now concentrate fully with the team on the tough upcoming tasks in the Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB Cup. We would like to make it clear that the door will always remain open for Philipp at FC Bayern München.’

Catch up with this week’s episode of 888sport Football Friday Live