German centre back Benedikt Höwedes, who was an inevitable member of the legendary team that lifted the 2014 FIFA World Cup, has announced his retirement from professional football at 32 years of age, as he feels the game is ‘suddenly unimportant.’
Benedikt Höwedes, who enjoyed ten seasons with Bundesliga elites FC Schalke 04, moved to Russian Premier League club FC Lokomotiv Moscow in 2018. Last month, he decided to terminate his 4-year contract with the Russian by side mutual consent, on the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Football suddenly became so unimportant: Benedikt Höwedes reveals reason behind his retirement
Following the suspension of the Russian league, Benedikt Höwedes decided to end his contract to return to his family in Germany. Speaking to German weekly magazine Der Spiegel, the 32 year old defender revealed that while his age was a factor, family duties deemed the sport irrelevant to him.
“I’ve made 50 games for Lokomotiv Moscow in the past two years, including in the Champions League, we’ve won cups and Supercups. Of course, I notice that it takes me longer to regenerate. I could make up for that for a while with my experience,” Höwedes said in the interview.
However, returning to his family after terminating the contract with Lokomotiv in June, changed his mind.
The German continued, “But recently I was travelling with my wife and child on a camper in the south of France. Then I noticed how blatant it was for me to experience my son up close.”
“Football suddenly became so unimportant to me,” Benni went on, “Our son is now 21 months old and unfortunately I didn’t get much from him during my time in Moscow. I suffered a lot as a family man.”
Höwedes married his long time girlfriend Lisa Wesseler in 2015. Their son, Bas Antonius, was born in 2018.
A youth product of Schalke, Höwedes joined the senior team in 2007. He made 240 appearances for The Royal Blues, scoring 12 times. In 2018, he also went on a loan spell with Serie A heavyweights Juventus, but due to injuries only made three appearances for the Italian club.
A versatile defender, Höwedes was chosen as a left back to represent Germany in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. He was also one of the three German players who played for every minute of the tournament, alongside goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and captain Phillip Lahm. He has made 44 international appearances.
— Die Mannschaft (@DFB_Team) July 31, 2020