Sebastian Kehl has decided to step down as the captain of Borussia Dortmund after six years of responsibility with the armband.
The 34 year-old German has decided to pass on the captaincy so that he can support his successor in his final season before he retires.
Kehl, who wants to win the Bundesliga title as part of his final farewell, has expressed that he wants to help the next man who the takes the role and has underlined that the decision was not based on his commitment.
"Borussia stands in front of a fantastic future,'' he said. "And I'm glad I have been able to shape the story in recent years. I have decided to end my career after this season and to do so now as captain.
"It has nothing to do with my commitment. Anyone who knows me knows that I give everything. I'll stay in a leadership role. My role will not change within the club.
"For now I will have the opportunity to stand by my successor and give advice and practical help and support with my experience. Now the time is right.''
Kehl appointed as captain
In 2008, Jurgen Klopp enlisted Kehl as the new captain, replacing Christian Worns. Although he was riddled with injuries at the time, Klopp believed that he was the best leader in the group to follow the defender who had made over 200 appearances for the club over nine years.
Since taking the position, Dortmund have achieved much success including back to back Bundesliga titles from 2010-2012, a DFB Pokal crown the DFB Super Cup as well as finishing as the runners up in the 2013 Champions League final.
BVB's number five has spent his whole career in the German league after initially starting out at Hannover in 1998. He then moved on to SC Freiburg before joining the yellow and blacks for a fee of €3.2 million.
He has made 251 appearances now, passing Worns, and has become a well respected and admired icon at Signal Iduna Park. It is now becoming a tradition that the BVB captain is a long standing and strong choice.
Final year for Kehl
Towards the end of last season, Kehl agreed to extend his contract by a further year in March and signalled that this would be his final season before he looks at his options after playing.
After two years of finishing second best to bitter rivals, Bayern Munich, Kehl and Klopp are determined to snatch the title back. So far, Robert Lewandowski has been their only major casualty has departed from the Westfalenstadion but there are plenty of rumours flying around about certain players in the squad who could also be on their way.
Jurgen Klopp is staying adamant that nor Marco Reus or Mats Hummels will be leaving the club despite growing speculation that the German club would be open to the right offer. However, one way Klopp could end this dragged out saga is through the captaincy vacancy.
In particularly, the club are desperate to ensure that Mats Hummels will be at the heart of their defence after he proved to the world he is the best in his position after winning the World Cup with Germany.
The 25 year-old has been heavily praised by the club's sporting director, Michael Zorc who recently said: "Mats can lead a team, he is superb in building the play and he is a great professional."
With this being said and after what many saw in Brazil, Hummels would be the obvious choice to succeed Kehl as captain having already made 146 appearances for the club in five years.
Not only this, but Hummels will also be under heavy consideration for the Germany captaincy after Philipp Lahm announced he had retired from International football at the age of 30.News Now - Sport News