Gelsenkirchen, Germany – Schalke defender Christoph Metzelder revealed Thursday that he intends to retire from football at the conclusion of the season.
"I am just being honest with myself and I feel that I am no longer physically able to play consistently at this level," Metzelder said. "And after 13 years, the fire inside me, which is necessary for this job, has burnt out."
Most of Metzelder's career has been marred by injury, though he did manage to collect 47 caps with the German national team.
The 32-year-old made a name for himself at Borussia Dortmund before making a high-profile switch to Real Madrid. He managed just 31 appearances across all competitions in three seasons with the Spanish giants.
Metzelder joined Schalke, Dortmund's bitter rival, in 2010 and guided the Royal Blues to the Pokal Cup in his first season at the Veltins Arena.