The era of Philipp Lahm is coming to an end. The question is not if, but when; and when is soon.
SportBILD reports that Lahm has informed Bayern Munich that he will be retiring at the end of the current season. As has been rumored for months, Bayern offered Lahm a position as the sporting director going forward but after discussion with the club Lahm will not be undertaking that role. That decision comes with a bit of a wrinkle.
Lahm would only accept a dual position as both the club’s sporting director and as a member of the Bayern Munich board. This was the role Matthias Sammer occupied during his tenure. This is in contrast to the traditional role of most sporting directors in the Bundesliga — think Max Eberl at Mönchengladbach — but is becoming more common with the passing years — think Christian Heidel at Schalke.
This decision leaves Philipp Lahm’s position at Bayern going forward from this season entirely in doubt. Lahm is a club legend and will go down in history as one of its greatest players. Not making the inevitable transition to the front office might end up as one of the greatest injustices in club history. Hopefully, the board and Lahm can come to some sort of agreement on his future.