Bayern Munich skipper Philipp Lahm shocked the football world when announced that he will retire at the end of this season.
Lahm made his 500th appearance for the club on Saturday against Schalke.
The former German skipper is under contract with the club till June 2018 – but decided to call it a day after the Bavarian giants 1-0 win over Wolfsburg in the DFB-Pokal.
“I will retire at the end of the season,” the 33-year-old confirmed.
Bayern were excited about the prospect of making Lahm the new sporting director at the club for next season, but the player has instead decided to take a sabbatical.
“I have decided that it is not the right moment yet to take the job as sporting director,” he added.
Lahm came through the ranks of the Bayern Munich academy and has spent his entire career with the reigning German champions – bar a two year loan spell at Stuttgart.
The 33-year-old has won seven Bundesliga titles, six DFB-Pokals, the Champions League and the Club World Cup with the Allianz Arena outfit.
Lahm guided Germany to a World Cup win in 2014, captaining the side – after which he announced retirement from international football.
Lahm had received plaudits when he announced retirement from international football, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised the superstar, “Becoming world champion in football is definitely a team effort but the captain has a lot to do with that. I want to take the opportunity to give him my respect for what he has done for the national team.”
While Bayern Munich president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge went a step ahead and lavished huge praise on his skipper, “There can hardly be a better farewell than as world champion as the high point of a career,” Rummenigge told the club’s official website.
“For the national team, it will not be easy to replace Lahm as a player, captain and person.”
Philipp Lahm joined Bayern Munich at the age of 11 in 1995 – and has been at the club ever-since – barring a two-year loan away at Stuttgart.
The legendary veteran broke into the first-team in 2005 and has been synonymous with Bayern Munich ever-since.
Winning every possible trophy there is to win in club football.
Lahm saw nine managerial changes during his career at Bayern, but what remained constant was him.
The versatile defensive star has played as a left-back, right-back and even as a defensive midfielder when needed.
Lahm raked in 338 league apperances for the champions and has won a staggering 233 games, while keeping 129 clean sheets.
Philipp Lahm was also very effective when it came to offence as he scored 11 goals and assisted 42 more for Bayern.
However, his most significant and remarkable achievement is that the humble star was never sent off – picking up just 26 yellow cards in career spanning over 11 years.
Lahm also represented Germany a 113 times, and it is all but certain that Bayern will find it almost impossible to replace the legend that is Philipp Lahm.