Thursday 20 July 2017

Bayern Munich release angry statement about Philipp Lahm's retirement and his treatment of the club

Lahm has been a regular in the Bayern first-team for over a decade. Bongarts/Getty Images
Lahm has been a regular in the Bayern first-team for over a decade. Bongarts/Getty Images

Evan Bartlett

Bayern Munich have released a statement criticising the way captain Philipp Lahm has treated the club over his announcement that he will retire in the summer.

Released on the club's website, the statement from chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge explained that Bayern were "surprised" at the decision and said they had hoped he would stay on as sporting director.

"FC Bayern München is surprised by the approach of Philipp Lahm and his adviser," the statement read. "[Club president] 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."

Lahm announced last week after Bayern's German cup win over Wolfsburg that he would like an early termination of his contract in order to retire from the game.

"Until yesterday we assumed that there would be a joint announcement on this decision by Philipp Lahm and FC Bayern München," the statement continued.

The full-back, who was later moulded into a holding midfielder, has played over 500 games for the German champions since coming through their youth team ranks, captaining them to Champions League glory and leading his country to the World Cup triumph in 2014.

"Philipp Lahm has been an important player for FC Bayern München for over a decade," Rummenigge continued. "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."

Those were sentiments echoed by Lahm's own statement last week as he made his announcement.

"I can continue with my leadership style, giving my best every day, in every training, until the end of the season," the 33-year-old said. "I can keep doing it this season but not beyond."

Independent News Service

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