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Sandro Wagner retires from professional football

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The Munich-born striker has signed off on his playing days.

SV Drochtersen-Assel v Bayern Muenchen - DFB Cup Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

Shortly after terminating his contract with former club Tianjin Teda, Sandro Wagner has officially retired from football, despite receiving offers from a number of German clubs.

In an interview with Bild, he announced his retirement, saying that he “was able to achieve all his (my) goals and dreams.”

Wagner went on to say “I am incredibly grateful that football has given me a wonderful life.” He did not hesitate to extend his gratitude to the people who helped me in his career. “I really enjoyed the long journey and just want to say thank you to all my coaches and teammates,” and thanked the fans, adding a touch of national pride as well, “Thanks to all fans. We have the best stadiums and the best fans in the world in Germany.”

Born in Munich, Wagner came through Bayern Munich’s youth ranks, and then spent five seasons in the lower tiers of the Bundesliga, first with MSV Duisburg and then with Werder Bremen’s second team. Wagner also got a decent amount of playing time with Bremen’s first team before moving to Hertha BSC and also alternating between their first and second teams. During his time in Berlin, Wagner won the 2. Bundesliga in 2012-13.

Wagner’s potential finally reached boiling point at Darmstadt 98, from which he transferred to TSG Hoffenheim and kept up his good form. It was there that Bayern signed him from in 2018 as a backup striker to Robert Lewandowski. Wagner stayed at Bayern for one year, making 30 appearances and scoring 10 goals, not too shabby for a backup. He also won his second Bundesliga title with the Bavarians in said year, ten years after his first, which was also with Bayern.

After leaving Munich in January 2019, Wagner spent a season in China before calling off his career. He had already declined to return to China because he did not feel comfortable leaving his family alone in Germany in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although Wagner’s international career may have ended on a low (no pun intended) with him being left out of Germany’s 2018 World Cup squad, he said that wearing the national team’s shirt nonetheless gave him a particular sense of pride. Wagner has won the 2017 Confederations Cup with the senior national team, and the UEFA European U-21 Championship in 2009, the latter with future Bayern teammates Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, and Mats Hummels.

Wagner was always a passionate player, giving his all no matter how long he was on the pitch. He was also a very outspoken man, never afraid to voice his opinions on certain topics. For example, he called out people who spend too much time on social media, and even declared himself the best German striker at one point. Fun fact, as he demonstrated in Bayern’s 2018 Audi Summer Tour, he also knows his fair share of American history, maybe even more than some Americans!

So what’s next for this unique individual? Wagner told Bild that he plans to start preparing for his coaching license with the DFB in September. “My goal is to get into coaching next summer,” he said. It remains to be seen whether Wagner will come back to Bayern to kick off his coaching career. According to Bild, he apparently has an agreement with Bayern to work with their youth team as a coach, so it may not be too far-fetched to imagine seeing him back in Munich in the near future.

In the meantime, Wagner said that he will spend time with his family, whom he could not always be with in his playing days.

We at BFW wish Sandro a blissful retirement and good luck in his coaching career, and we also hope to see him again in Munich soon!