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 By Mark Lovell

Bayern's Philipp Lahm 'wouldn't rule out' end-of-season retirement

Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm has told Sport Bild that he could retire in 2017 -- a year ahead of schedule.

Lahm, who has won the Bundesliga seven times and the DFB Pokal on six occasions with the Bavarians, retired from international football as Germany's World Cup-winning skipper in the aftermath of the 2014 win in Brazil.

He is under contract until 2018 and it was previously reported that Lahm, who will celebrate his 33rd birthday on Friday, would call it a day when his current deal ends.

But quizzed about a premature end to his playing career, he was non-committal.

"Of course you can ask the question," Lahm said. "I wouldn't rule it out."

Philipp Lahm & Carlo Ancelotti
Philipp Lahm looks to be nearing the end of his illustrious playing career.

Bayern's longest-serving player added: "I said nine months ago that this could occur. Nothing has changed since.

"A lot can happen, there's still seven months of the season remaining.

"But my decision isn't dependent on winning titles at the end of the season. I'll see how my body feels and then decide what to do.

"I want to compete at the highest possible level and judge the right time to end my career.

"I'm under contract till 2018 so everything is still in place. There's no need to rush a decision."

The Munich-born defender is tipped to take over as Bayern's sporting director after his playing days come to an end. Matthias Sammer left the role in July due to illness and the position is yet to be filled. 

Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.

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