Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm has explained his reasoning behind his announcement that he will retire from football at the end of the season.
The 33-year-old has a year left on his contract with the defending Bundesliga champions but will walk away early – also saying he has rejected an offer from the club to become a sporting director.
“I have told the club I will stop playing at the end of the season,” Lahm said in comments reported by Kicker.
“My leadership style is in the way I give my best every day, in every training session and every match. I believe I can do this until the end of the season but not beyond then. It is clear to me I will stop.”
Lahm announced the news after Bayern’s 1-0 win over Wolfsburg in the DFB-Pokal, having made his 500th Bayern appearance against Schalke on Saturday.
Asked about the possibility of staying at the club in a different role, Lahm confirmed he had discussed taking up the sporting director position vacated by Matthias Sammer.
“There were discussions, but at the end of those discussions I decided myself that this is not the best time for me,” Lahm said.
A World Cup winner with Germany, Lahm is aiming to win a record eighth Bundesliga title this season.
The Munich-born player has spent his entire club career with Bayern, bar a two-year loan spell at Stuttgart between 2003 and 2005.
He has won seven Bundesliga titles, six DFB-Pokals, the Champions League and the Club World Cup with Bayern.
He captained Germany to World Cup glory in 2014 before announcing his retirement from international football.