BERLIN • Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm on Tuesday confirmed he will retire at the end of the season and leave Bayern Munich, having rejected a role as sports director.
"I have decided to stop playing football at the end of the season," the Bayern captain said after his team's 1-0 win over Wolfsburg in the third round of the German Cup.
"I am sure I can keep putting in the performances until the end of the season, but not after that.
"I first thought about the decision over a year ago and have been constantly checking it.
"I love football and it has given me a lot, but everything has to eventually come to an end and I wanted to decide that myself."
The 33-year-old explained why he has turned down the vacant sports director role, which would not have included a place on Bayern's board following recent restructuring at the club.
"There were discussions and at the end of those I decided that it's not the right time for me to step up with FC Bayern," he said.
He made his 500th appearance for Bayern last Saturday and will hang up his boots in June, despite having a year left on his contract.
The defender retired from international football after captaining Germany to the 2014 World Cup title in Brazil and making 113 appearances for Die Mannschaft.
Lahm joined Bayern as an 11-year-old in 1995 and, apart from a two-year loan spell at VfB Stuttgart, has spent his entire career with the Bavarian giants.
He led Bayern to their 2013 Champions League win at Wembley when they beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in the final. That year, they became the first German club to complete the Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup treble.
With Bayern four points clear in the Bundesliga and through to the Cup quarter-finals, he is set to go out on a high and add to his seven league titles and six Cup victories.
The club, however, were surprised by the timing of his announcement.
"(Bayern president) Uli Hoeness and myself had honest, intensive talks in the past months with Philipp about a potential involvement in the management of our club. Last week he informed us he was currently not available for the sports director position and that he wants to end his contract early," club chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in a statement yesterday."
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS