Bernd Schneider retires from professional football | inside World Soccer

Bernd Schneider retires from professional football

Friday, June 26, 2009

Germany and Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Bernd Schneider has been forced to retire at the age of 35 due to a back problem.

Schneider missed almost all of last season after slipping his disc two months before Euro 2008, for which he was expected to be part of the Germany squad.

And Leverkusen confirmed on Friday they had accepted a request from the former Eintracht Frankfurt man to terminate his contract because, according to recent tests, the injury had failed to properly heal.

"Doctors told me a week ago that the risk of playing professional football was too great," Schneider told the DFB website.

"Tests showed that the accident I had two months before Euro 2008 has led to a back injury which makes continuing my career impossible.

"Anybody who knows me will know that football was my passion. It is certainly frustrating to have to end your career like this.

"But the time would have come sooner or later for me to end my career and it is easier to do it now than to have had to end my career in its early days due to injury."

Leverkusen general manager Rudi Völler said in the club's official website: "Bernd was a great footballer, who produced magic for Germany and Leverkusen.

"He is also a very nice and humble person. I wish him all the best."

Schneider scored 35 goals in 263 Bundesliga matches for Leverkusen. He made 81 appearances for Germany and played at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.

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