Former national soccer player Jonas Hector will end his professional career on the day of his 33rd birthday. Now he explained the reasons. He never became friends with the business.
Former national player Jonas Hector from 1. FC Köln explained the reasons for his unusually early retirement from professional football at the age of 33 in his first newspaper interview in many years.
When asked if he was “ever a thoroughly happy professional”, Hector answered in an interview with “11Freunde” magazine: “If I think back to everything, I have to say: No.”
Gardening instead of Bundesliga grass
Now he no longer feels like “the public that you inevitably have to face as a professional, the constant pressure”. At FC, the team have “never found themselves in calm waters in recent years”. “I don’t want to live feeling like I’m always struggling to survive, I want to spend Saturday gardening, then go to the stadium and see things from a neutral point of view,” he said.
After the grueling relegation in 2021, he thought about it for the first time, after which he became a father, which changed his view again, said the 43-time national player. There were also private strokes of fate. After which he had not yet thought of resigning. “But that was when I retired from the national team. I don’t want to deny that there is a connection.”
Hector also confirmed that national coach Hansi Flick wanted to persuade him to make a comeback for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. He declined. “Two years earlier I had questioned the sense of international matches and I came to the conclusion that nothing had changed in my attitude,” said the Saarland native.
Hector, who has been playing for 1. FC Köln since 2010, will play his last professional game on his 33rd birthday on May 27 against FC Bayern Munich. After that he looks forward to “free weekends”, he said: “I see myself as a father watching his child on the sports field – a nice thought”. A comeback is unlikely, but cannot be ruled out: “I can’t imagine it, but in football you should never say ‘never’.”
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