Philipp Lahm's decision to retire at the end of the season was not wholly surprising to Michael Tarnat, who says the Bayern Munich star will have made the call in the interests of himself and his club.
Bayern captain Lahm retired from international duty after lifting the World Cup in 2014 and has opted to cut short his contract at the Allianz Arena by one year and hang up his boots.
Lahm, a seven-time Bundesliga champion and 2012-13 Champions League winner, is only 33, but Tarnat – the sporting director of Bayern's junior team, having played for the club for six years – is confident the versatile defender knows what is best for him.
He told Omnisport: "On the one hand I was surprised about his decision to retire, but on the other hand, if you know Philipp you know that he can appreciate his efficiency better than anyone else.
"If Philipp thinks he can't reach his high level of performance next season you have to accept his decision.
"Maybe Philipp noticed that is getting harder and harder for him and he wants to retire at a high level, because he doesn't want to drag himself through his last season and doesn't want to harm Bayern Munich."
Lahm made the announcement following a 1-0 DFB-Pokal victory over Wolfsburg last week, irritating Bayern as they had thought it would be made public in a joint statement.
However, the club stressed the skipper will always be welcome, but Tarnat felt it was an unfortunate turn of events.
"I don't know the internal ongoings of Bayern Munich, but I think it was not the plan that the information of Phillip's retirement came out during the DFB-Pokal game against Wolfsburg," said Tarnat.
"You never know what they talked about the days before the game.
"Philipp said that he waited for the board meeting and wanted to announce his retirement after this. I think the process went a little unfortunate for both sides."
While announcing the news, Lahm also confirmed he would not be remaining at the club as sporting director, with former goalkeeper Oliver Kahn subsequently being linked to the post.
Tarnat is unsure that the position would be right for Kahn, though.
"I meet Oli once a year at a golf tournament in Mallorca and last year we made some jokes about the topic, but at that time it was not a real possibility," he said.
"I think if Oli wants to come back to Bayern Munich his aim is another job rather than director of sports.
"I can't imagine that Oli will be the new sporting director of Bayern Munich."
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