The world of football was stunned this week by Philipp Lahm’s decision to retire at the end of the current season. While many have paid tribute to the Bayern Munich captain, his club have criticised him for the way he announced his plans.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the Bayern Munich chairman, has released a statement on the club’s website. He says he thought Lahm’s decision would be revealed in a joint announcement. He also says that Lahm was offered a sporting director role at the club, but it was an offer the player turned down.
The statement in full 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 until June 2018, at the end of the current season.
“Until 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 FC Bayern München for over a decade. We are convinced that 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 clear that the door will always remain open for Philipp at FC Bayern München.”
Despite Rummenigge’s obvious unhappiness about the sudden announcement, the final part of his statement shows he still considers Lahm an important part of the Bayern squad.
Lahm, who has played over 500 games for the club, revealed his decision to retire after Tuesday’s DFB-Pokal victory over Wolfsburg. He said in a post-match interview:
“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.
“I’ve been considering it for more than the past year.
“You have to keep testing yourself, you have to keep asking yourself ‘how is it’, day by day, week by week on the training pitch, what’s the feeling you have.”
Peter Reynolds, Pundit Arena