news_Football_19052017

Lahm's final match

Munich (dpa) - Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm has left his future open ahead of his final Bundesliga game before retirement against Freiburg on Saturday. "You never know what's coming. First I want to take a step back after 22 years with Bayern with a short time-out in Stuttgart," the full-back told a news conference on Thursday. "I want to get to know other things, other people and other areas. Then we will see what happens in the future."

Lahm had been linked to the vacant sporting director role at Bayern earlier in the season but eventually decided against the position - and that he would quit playing with one year remaining on his contract. His appearance against Freiburg will be his 517th in Bayern colours. Over a dazzling 15-year career, Lahm won eight Bundesligas, six German Cups, the Champions League in the treble-winning 2012-13 campaign, and the 2014 World Cup. "I simply want to enjoy the whole day," Lahm said. "I just hope that the fans will remember me as a good footballer."

Lahm will likely linger in the memory not as a merely good footballer, but one of the strongest performers at at a global club for more than a decade. Good in the air despite his diminutive stature, he was reliable at either left or right-back and even excelled in midfield in the latter part of his career. "There were many [highlights], he said. "I'll never forget my debut. But also the titles, the treble etc." Lahm will receive the Bundesliga trophy at the conclusion of the Freiburg match but it will be the only silverware Bayern will pick up in the campaign after disappointing exits from the Champions League and German Cup.

Afterwards, Lahm will begin the transition from football legend to the next phase of his life - bright and early on Monday. "I'll be woken up by my son at 7 am," he said. "Then I'll take him to kindergarten and head to Saebener [for training]. It's also my mum's birthday!"