Farewell Benedikt Höwedes, a Schalke and Germany legend
Benedikt Höwedes has retired from football at the age of 32, the long-time Schalke captain bringing down the curtain on a glittering career which took in 240 Bundesliga appearances and a FIFA World Cup win with Germany in 2014.
Versatile defender Höwedes had most recently played for Russian Premier League outfit Lokomotiv Moscow. But for a three-game loan spell with Italian champions Juventus in 2017/18 he had otherwise spent the entirety of his career with the Royal Blues.
Having joined the Gelsenkirchen side as a 13-year-old in 2001, Höwedes progressed though the club's famed Knappenschmiede academy and went on to captain the side for six consecutive seasons - a Bundesliga record.
Watch: Thank you, Benedikt Höwedes
With the national team he lifted the World Cup in Brazil in 2014, a constituent part of coach Joachim Löw's victorious side. After 44 caps and two goals, he called time on his Germany career in 2017, and has now decided to hang up his boots completely.
"I've simply noticed how it fills me with joy spending time with my son," he explained to German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel. "All of a sudden, football seemed irrelevant to me."
As well as winning the double of DFB Cup and DFL Supercup with Schalke in 2011, Höwedes also won the double of Serie A and Coppa Italia with Juventus and the double of Russian Cup and Super Cup with Lokomotiv.
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