Bayer Leverkusen defender Sami Hyypia has hailed his two-year spell in the Bundesliga as the "perfect ending to my career'' as he prepares to hang up his boots this weekend.
Hyypia, 37, has decided to bring the curtain down on his career after Saturday's game against Freiburg and the former Finland captain has been delighted with his Indian summer in the Bundesliga.
"For me personally, these have been two fantastic years and a perfect ending to my career,'' he told sport1.de. "The Bundesliga is on a very high level and it is a sporting challenge to make the breakthrough in Germany.
"And the infrastructure is exceptional - where else do you get such stadia which are practically always sold out?''
Hyypia had a contract until 2012, which he signed only a few months ago, yet he has decided not to fulfil that deal since his body is starting to warn him that enough is enough.
"I considered my decision very carefully, but my fitness in recent months has not been what it should be to continue performing at a high level,'' he said.
"We have controlled my training intensity and dosed my appearances, but in my opinion it was better to retire.''
By bowing out, Hyypia also misses out on one last challenge for the Champions League which he won with Liverpool in 2005, as Leverkusen have qualified for next season's compeition.
However, he said if he is not fit enough for the Bundesliga, then I am certainly not for the Champions League''.
Hyypia has played a total of 53 matches for Leverkusen, scoring three goals.