The Bayern Munich captain, Philipp Lahm, has announced that he is to retire from football at the end of the season, the Guardian newspaper reports. But how will he be remembered?

His illustrious career

After making his debut for Bayern in 2002, Lahm went on to win everything. In 501 appearances, the defender won the Bundesliga title on seven occasions, the German Cup six times, the Champions League once and the FIFA Club World Cup also once, as reported in The Sun newspaper. Even for his national side, Germany, Lahm (as captain) won the FIFA World Cup in 2014.

It really has been an astonishing career. In announcing his decision, Lahm stated that "I told the officials that I will stop playing football at the end of the season. I think this is the right point in time to leave".

How will he be remembered?

Not surprisingly there are wonderful tributes from throughout the footballing spectrum. The man who discovered the defender, Hermann Gerland stated that, "Lahm was already perfect when he was 17. He could do it all, there was nothing left for me to teach him", as reported in the Four Four Two website. Gerland went on to say that "Philipp never played a bad game for me. He is incapable of playing badly". Such praise was also found from his former manager, Pep Guardiola.

Shortly after becoming Bayern manager in 2013, Guardiola boldly stated that Lahm was "perhaps the most intelligent player I have ever trained in my career", as stated in the Telegraph newspaper. Furthermore, in a post-match interview, Guardiola stated that Lahm was "at another level". After moving the defender into midfield, Pep commented that, "if we win anything this season, it will be thanks to that decision to move Lahm".

The Telegraph stated that it was Lahm's "intelligence and versatility" that separated him from the rest, and that in the future he will be looked back on as a "footballing revolutionary".

Such is the importance of Lahm to the team that he plays in is that his national team, Germany, have struggled over the past few years since his retirement in 2014.

Four Four Two stated that things have not quite been the same since Lahm left. They have been beaten by Argentina, against Poland too and failed to beat the Republic of Ireland. Whatever the reason is for their slump in form, it may well have something to do with the absence of Lahm.

philipp lahm has had a wonderful career, and it is probably the case that after he retires in the summer, Bayern will be a lesser team because of it.