Belgian international defender Daniel van Buyten, without a club since his contract with Bayern Munich expired in June, has decided to retire from the game at the age of 36.
Van Buyten had been approached by several clubs in Germany and France and had a concrete offer on the table of a contract with Belgian champions Anderlecht, who had offered him a one-year deal worth a million euros. But in a letter, Van Buyten turned the offer down flat.
"When I commit to a project, I do so 100 per cent. My body tells me it isn't possible and I do not want to fall short of fulfilling the expectations of a club like Anderlecht," he wrote.
Van Buyten, one of the key players in Belgium's FIFA World Cup™ squad in Brazil, explained: "I prepared really hard for the tournament. My body has certainly suffered."
A professional since 1998, van Buyten played for Charleroi, Standard Liege, Marseille, Manchester City, Hamburg and Bayern, where he stayed from 2006 until this year. He helped the Bavarians to four German titles, four Cups, the 2013 UEFA Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup.
In 586 club matches, he scored 71 goals and was capped 83 times by Belgium, scoring 11 goals for his country. His final match was the World Cup quarter-final against Argentina, which the Belgians lost 1-0.