Borussia Dortmund's veteran captain Sebastian Kehl has said he will retire in June 2015 having just signed a year's contract extension. The 34-year-old, who made the last of his 31 appearances for Germany at the 2006 FIFA World Cup™, joined Dortmund in 2002.
Kehl scored for Dortmund in last Wednesday's 2-1 defeat at home to Zenit St Peterburg as Borussia went through to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals 5-4 on aggregate having won the first leg 4-2.
"Borussia Dortmund, our wonderful team, fans and the city of Dortmund has been my home for many years, so I have decided to continue my stay," said the defensive midfielder. "The decision to end my active career in 2015 has been growing and I hope to still experience some unforgettable moments and great success with the team until then."
Kehl has made 289 appearances in the Bundesliga and was part of the teams which won the German Bundesliga title in 2002 and 2011, plus 2012 when Borussia won the league and cup double. He was in the squad which lost 2-1 to Bayern Munich in last season's Champions League final at Wembley.
"Sebastian is an important leader for us with his huge amount of experience and, on top of that, he is a valuable role model," said Dortmund's director of sport Michael Zorc. "We are very happy that he wants to stay with us until 2015 and wants to end his impressive career in the Dortmund shirt."
With both defensive midfielders Sven Bender and Ilkay Gundogan injured, Kehl has been a regular in the Dortmund team this season, forming a partnership alongside ex-Real Madrid and Liverpool midfielder Nuri Sahin.