World Cup winning German defender Benedikt Howedes has announced his retirement from football. The 32-year-old told German magazine Der Spiegel that he arrived at the decision when he was recently travelling with his his wife and child in the south of France.
Howedes said that "football suddenly became so unimportant" after spending that much time with his son. "Our son is now 21 months old and unfortunately I didn't get much time with him at Moscow. I suffered a lot as a family man," he said.
Howedes last played for Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow, which he joined in 2018. He left the club on June 8 this year. Howedes had, however, spent most of his career at Bundesliga club Schalke, except for one year in 2017/18 when he was loaned out to Serie A giants Juventus. He made his debut for Schalke after coming through the club's youth system in the 2007/08 season.
He has made 44 competitive appearances for Germany and was an integral part of Joachim Loew's side that won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Howedes was one of the three players, alongside goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and captain Philipp Lahm, who played in all seven matches in the tournament.
Howedes' retirement comes two weeks after Andre Schurrle, another member of the 2014 World Cup winning German squad, announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 28.