Bayer Leverkusen defender Sami Hyypia admits his two-year spell in the Bundesliga has provided him with the "perfect ending to my career" as he prepares to hang up his boots this weekend.
The former Finland defender has decided to bring the curtain down on his career after today's game against Freiburg and he admits there could be no better way to bow out.
"For me personally, these have been two fantastic years and a perfect ending to my career," he told sport1.de. "The Bundesliga is on a very high level and it is a sporting challenge to make the breakthrough in Germany.
"And the infrastructure is exceptional - where else do you get such stadiums which are practically always sold out?"
Hyypia had a contract until 2012, which he signed only a few months ago, yet he has decided not to fulfil that deal since his body is starting to warn him that enough is enough.
"I considered my decision very carefully, but my fitness in recent months has not been what it should be to continue performing at a high level," said the 37-year-old.
"We have controlled my training intensity and dosed my appearances, but in my opinion it was better to retire."
By bowing out today, Hyypia also misses out on one last challenge for the UEFA Champions League, which he won with Liverpool in 2005.
However, he said if he is not fit enough for the Bundesliga, "then I am certainly not for the Champions League". Hyypia has played a total of 53 matches for Bayer, scoring three goals.