Bayern Munich defender Mats Hummels says he understands Philipp Lahm’s surprise decision to retire at the end of the season.
Lahm’s contract was due to run until 2018, but the Bayern captain announced after Tuesday’s DFB-Pokal 1-0 win over Wolfsburg that he is bringing his glittering career to a close.
Hummels would have preferred to continue to play with Lahm, but backed his decision to quit at the age of 33.
“I hadn’t known, I only just found out,” Hummels said in a DFB interview. “I would have really liked to have seen him carry on playing but on the other hand, I can also understand him.
“He timed it well with his retirement from the national team after winning the World Cup in 2014 in Brazil. I’m certain he’s thought hard about it and considered everything. He will have his reasons.
“If he now says that he wants to do something different after the summer, then we have to respect that.
“But it is definitely a shame because he always performs at the highest level and he isn’t going to be with us in the dressing room or on the pitch.”