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Sports

German Midfielder Torsten Frings Mulls Retirement

Seeing more bench time than field play these days, the German midfielder expresses his frustration as well as his need to evaluate his future in the sport. Joachim Loew insists his player is still a factor.

Torsten Frings with other German national soccer players on the bench during a game against Wales

All that time spent on the bench has got Frings to thinking...

Midfielder Torsten Frings is the latest Germany player toying with retirement as coach Joachim Loew now no longer guarantees anyone a place in the starting 11.

"I am really thinking about it, retiring is more and more on my mind," Frings told Friday's edition of the Bild daily.

The 31-year-old from Werder Bremen was a key player in Germany's run to third place at the 2006 World Cup and also played at Euro 2008 where Germany lost the final against Spain.

Tired of being a benchwarmer

Former German national soccer forward Kevin Kuranyi listens to the media at a press conference

Also tired of being benched, Kuranyi made headlines when he walked out during Germany's match against Wales

However, he was fielded only for seven minutes in Saturday's 2-1 win against Russia and not at all on Wednesday when Germany beat Wales 1-0 in another World Cup qualifier.

Frings insisted he was not sulking but named the fact that he wasn't even told to warm up against Wales "a humiliation."

The statements of the 78-times capped Frings come less than a week after Schalke 04 forward Kevin Kuranyi left the team during the Russia game. Kuranyi later apologized but Loew said he wouldn't pick him again as long as he was coach.

Frings told Bild he missed "support, trust and respect" from Loew, which led to the retirement considerations.

"I can't rule it out. Of course I am thinking about retirement. Not because I am sulking but because the last days were an eye-opener ... At almost 32 you have a feeling for it. I can't see a future for myself under him (Loew) right now," Frings said.

Michael Ballack, right, talks to his coach Joachim Loew, left, during a public training session

Lowe stays close to Ballack as the coach's popularity with his players wanes

Frings has been through several injury setbacks over the past two years but insisted that he was still as good as Thomas Hitzlsperger or Simon Rolfes who have recently played in his place in midfield. “I hold nothing against Simon Rofes or Thomas Hitzlsperger. But I also know that they are not better!" he said.

Coach still wants Frings

Loew, for his part, said earlier this week that he picks his players based on present form and not on past merits. He said after the Wales match that he has talked with Frings and wants him for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

"I expressed my appreciation. Players who don't play are naturally dissatisfied. But that's a situation I want.”

"I know he can perform well and that he will perform well. For now he has to live with this. I continue to have faith in him," said Loew.

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