Bundesliga legend Lothar Matthäus ‘retires’ from football after Sunday league game for hometown club FC Herzogenaurach
The 57-year-old, who won the 1990 FIFA World Cup and was named as the world’s best player the following year over the course of a glittering career, rose through the youth ranks at Herzogenaurach, a city approximately 125 miles north of Munich, before moving to Gladbach in 1979.
Matthäus returned to the club on Sunday morning, captaining the team in front of 1,000 fans and playing 50 minutes of a 3-0 victory over SpVgg Hüttenbach-Simmelsdorf in the Bavarian Landesliga, Germany’s sixth tier.
In doing so he ensured the side finished the season on a high note, having already secured the league title last week.
“The team played well, despite being handicapped,” smiled Matthäus after the final whistle. “Whenever I had the ball I tried to add a touch of sophistication to the game, but otherwise I wasn’t much help in terms of covering ground.”
The former midfielder, who is now an ambassador for German football as part of the Bundesliga Legends network, had his player’s identification shipped in from Leipzig, having played for LoK Leipzig in 2005 in a benefit match for East-German football.
Watch: Matthäus visits Colombia as part of the Bundesliga Legends Tour
Now, however, Matthäus has officially called time on his playing career: “It was always my dream to play my last competitive game here.”
Sadly, that means Joachim Löw will not be able to call on Matthäus when he names his 23-man list for the World Cup on 15 May – but Germany do at least have a few other former winners up their sleeve to provide invaluable experience in Russia.