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Sports

Borussia Mönchengladbach defender Martin Stranzl to retire this summer

The Austrian defender will call time on his career at the end of the season. He says injuries have worn his body down and it's time to quit after five years at Borussia-Park.

The captain's armband will be worn by someone else in Mönchengladbach next season, with Martin Stranzl set to end his long playing career in the summer.

After nursing several injuries this term, including a rupture of a muscle fiber in his right calf, Stranzl decided the end of this season was the right time to hang up his boots. "The relief is great," said Stranzl on Tuesday. "It was not an easy decision, but I have to consider the signs and signals my body is giving me."

Stranzl has played 143 games for the five-time Bundesliga champions after arriving from Spartak Moscow in January 2011, but he has only seen action in two matches this season due to injury. "I want to be on the pitch again and say goodbye to the fans properly," added Stranzl.

He plans to stay in the region and hopes to work with the club after he stops playing in May. Sporting director Max Eberl certainly wants Stranzl to stay. "It would be our wish that he remains with us at Borussia after his extensive career," said Eberl.

In the 36-year-old's absence this seaon, the side has been captained by Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka.

(kd/SID, DPA)