'German football will miss him'
When the referee blows the final whistle in the match between FC Bayern and Freiburg to close out the Bundesliga season at 17:15, it will signify the end of an era for the record champions. After 22 years in FCB colours, only broken by a two-year spell at Stuttgart, Philipp Lahm's playing career will be over. The 33-year-old has accumulated countless title and records during his career (take a look at the numbers behind his career), was captain of FC Bayern and Germany, and one of the best right-backs in the world.
However, Lahm hangs up his boots for a final time on Saturday afternoon. As a farewell, fcbayern.com brings you reaction from not just within the footballing world.
Reaction to Philipp Lahm's retirement
"Philipp has had a fantastic career. He is one of the top three in the world in his position. I think he could easily play two, three more years. I'll miss him, also because he has always been an important go-to guy for me. We have a really trusting relationship. He's a clever person with his own line of thinking and his own opinions, which he doesn't change. I'm convinced he'll continue to be a success in his life after playing football, however that may be."
(Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, FC Bayern Chairman)
"I think it's a real shame Philipp is calling it a day. I would've thought he could manage at least another year because he's still performing so well. FC Bayern will really miss him. Philipp has proven that he has unbelievable desire and always has a plan and a clear perception. His whole life is a master plan, that's why he's been so successful."
(Uli Hoeneß, FC Bayern President)
"I'm always sad when players that I've worked with leave or retire. It was the same with Basti Schweinsteiger, and now with Philipp too. He's always trained so well, never moaned about other players either as a youngster or a superstar now. He helps out the younger players -- he's a role model. I think he could've continued at the highest level. He's extraordinary. Without doubt he belongs in FC Bayern's team of the century. On a par with the greats."
(Hermann Gerland, FC Bayern assistant coach)
"Looking at what Philipp has contributed to German football in recent years, he would've deserved to be named footballer of the year at least once."
(Manuel Neuer, FC Bayern goalkeeper)
"With Philipp Lahm, it's not just the captain who's retiring but one of the team's most important players, who has constantly performed at the highest level. We'll miss Philipp. He was one of the defining figures of the last few years, and one of the best defenders in the world. He was captain for both Bayern and Germany -- that's a privilege and speaks for Philipp's quality as a leader on the pitch. He is up there with the greats of FC Bayern, alongside Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Müller and Sepp Maier."
(Ottmar Hitzfeld, former Bayern coach)
"Philipp Lahm was the most intelligent player I ever worked with. He always played well. He is the perfect captain. An absolute legend, and not just on the pitch because he also helped me understand what Bayern Munich meant."
(Pep Guardiola, former Bayern coach)
"One of the great characters of German football is bowing out from the global stage. Philipp, thank you for all the years we spent together. We celebrated some great moments together. I wish you all the best for your new life and your family. I hope we'll see each other soon. You're always welcome in Chicago if you want."
(Bastian Schweinsteiger, former Bayern player)
"Philipp has had a picture-perfect career. He grew up and became a man at Stuttgart. When he returned to Munich, he played the same role. He continued to develop, came captain and made over 500 appearances for FC Bayern. Congratulations on your career! It's a real shame it's coming to an end."
(Hasan Salihamidzic, former Bayern player)
"I have great respect for Philipp. For what he's done for Bayern and German football, you can only say: Hats off. He's had a career that you have to salute. Moreover, he's always remained true to his roots."
(Jean-Marie Pfaff, former Bayern goalkeeper)
Further reaction to Philipp Lahm
"As the Minister President of Bavaria, I have to admit that Philipp Lahm is typical Bavarian. A strong performer, kind and humble despite all his success. He is one of the greatest footballers Germany has ever produced. Congratulations and enjoy your retirement!"
(Horst Seehofer, Minister President of Bavaria)
"Philipp is one of the best footballers ever. Not just because he's a World Cup winning captain that puts him on the same level as Fritz Walter, Franz Beckenbauer and Lothar Matthäus. He's been world class for so many years, for his club and country. It's always been a real joy and personally enriching for me to work with him and talk about football. Philipp has a lot of interests away from football which he likes to talk about. He now has more time for his family, and I wish him all the best and hope he will continue to be involved in German football in some way or another."
(Joachim Löw, Germany coach)
"I'll never forget my time with Philipp. He's one of the players who was with us from the start. Together we've always believed in each other and our objectives, and we finally achieved them in Rio. You could always rely on Philipp, and I'd like to thank him for our work together and his support. I know how much he's looking forward to taking up projects off the pitch. I don't begrudge him that at all, and of course I definitely don't begrudge him spending more time on the most important project in his life: his family."
(Oliver Bierhoff, Germany team manager)
"When he overlaps Arjen Robben 60 times in a match and only gets the ball twice, but doesn't once open his mouth -- that's when you see how great his character is. He has always worked for the benefit of the team throughout his entire career."
(Julian Nagelsmann, Hoffenheim coach)
"An amazing player that German football will sorely miss."
(Torsten Frings, Darmstadt coach)
"Dearest Philipp, I am very, very said that you're retiring. I have always appreciated you for your firm opinions. You will be remembered throughout the history of Bayern Munich as one of the most valuable players to ever kick a ball for this club. Your consistency has always overwhelmed me. You have always been world class, sometimes even better."
(Til Schweiger, actor)