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German Great, Lahm Retires Without Ever Getting Red Card



It was an emotional Bundesliga tie on Saturday in Bayern Munich’s 4-1 defeat of SC Freiburg as Philipp Lahm, a defender and one of the greatest German footballers said good bye to football.


He ended his career Saturday for Bayern Munich with eight Bundesliga titles and one Champions League title – plus the 2014 World Cup, which ended his tenure representing his county.

A sportsman and a gentleman, Lahm 33, was never sent off in his entire playing career which comprise of 517 appearances for Bayern, 113 for Germany. No red card, no double caution!

He was in a class of his own. He made tackles without aggression, instead using pinpoint precision for his plays on the ball.


Lahm, a right back, was Germany’s captain in 2010, as a 26-year-old, and again in 2014 for the Cup team. He was a truly cerebral player, a perfect counterpoint to Germany’s offensively explosive younger generation.

Also Xabi Alonso, a remarkable central midfielder from Spain, is retiring from Bayern. He’s 35 and was a crucial player in Spain’s 2010 World Cup team. Alonso joined Bayern in the fall of 2014 after helping Real Madrid win Champions League.

In one of his first Champions League appearances with the German club, he was sent off with a red card.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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