German midfielder Andre Schurrle has announced his shock retirement from football aged just 29.
The former Chelsea star has called an end to his career, after admitting the personal struggles that come with life as a footballer had started to take their toll.
In an exclusive interview with German publication Spiegel, Schurrle confirmed his exit from the game and revealed: ‘The depths became deeper and the highlights less and less.’
In a short yet highly successful spell at elite level football, Schurrle has featured for some of Europe’s most decorated sides including Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen.
It was Schurrle who provided the assist for Mario Gotze during the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil, in which an extra-time goal crowned Germany global champions.
‘The decision has matured in me for a long time,’ said Schurrle.
‘Only performance on the field counts, in which vulnerability and weakness must never exist’ he added, hinting of the strains that life in the spotlight can bring to an individual who is constantly expected to perform.
‘You always have to play a certain role to survive in the business, otherwise you will lose your job and you won’t get a new one.’
After highlighting his delight to have finally got a big move to Chelsea in the summer of 2013, Schurrle admitted he never dreamed he would be sharing a changing room with the likes of Didier Drogba and other bonafide superstars.
Yet it was the following summer which would become both a blessing and curse for the pacey forward.
The season following the elation of a World Cup victory hit Schurrle hard, with the German admitting the intensity soon caught up with him due to the lack of a winter break in English football.
‘I was able to push myself for three or four weeks, but then I fell into the deepest hole there is,’ Schurrle admitted, after outlining how an element of his deadly speed had left his game due to his thighs constantly feeling ‘on fire.’
‘I didn’t want to play football anymore. I was completely finished,’ he added.
After falling out of favour with then manager Jose Mourinho, Schurrle later left Chelsea to join Wolfsburg.
He would make just shy of 50 appearances for the club, scoring 10 times, before Borussia Dortmund swooped in to make a move.
From 2016 to 2020 Schurrle featured in the yellow of Dortmund, making only 33 appearances in the famous yellow shirt before briefly gracing English football once more during a loan spell with Fulham.
Now, Schurrle hangs up his boots after a brief loan stint with Spartak Moscow.