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Metzelder looking to retire on a high

Schalke defender Christoph Metzelder intends to retire at the end of the season if the club can lift a trophy.

Former Germany international Metzelder, 32, has entered the final year of his contract with Schalke and is not expected to be a regular player for the club in the current campaign.

The Royal Blues have already told Metzelder, who made only 16 appearances in 2011-12, that they will not extend his contract, and they have been tipped to bring in 21-year-old Mainz centre-back Jan Kirchhoff as a replacement.

"The club has a philosophy, and that philosophy is to focus on young players," Metzelder told WAZ. "Those players have done a great job so far."

He added: "I am loyal."

Metzelder has already won league titles with Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid as well as the DFB-Pokal with Schalke in 2011, and he is hoping to retire on a high. "If we can win the cup like in 2011, with that party in Berlin, I will end my career," he said.

Metzelder was joined on the bench by Benedikt Howedes for the first two Bundesliga games of the season, but he does not expect the captain to remain a back-up.

"He was struggling with minor injuries, but we all know how important Bene is for the team," Metzelder said. "He is the captain and a role model. It is only a question of time until we will see him back in action."

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