Sebastian Kehl is in his final year of professional football – his time as captain of Borussia Dortmund has already come to an end. The 34-year-old, BVB’s most senior player, has stepped down as skipper to make way for a successor “whom I will give my full support in the coming months.”


“This important role has filled me with enjoyment and pride,” said Kehl in Bad Ragaz on Wednesday afternoon, adding: “It makes sense to pass on the baton for now I will have the opportunity to stand by my successor and give advice and support with my experience. I enjoyed this role, but now the time is right.”

Sebastian Kehl joined Borussia Dortmund from Sportclub Freiburg in 2002, and inherited the captaincy from Christian Wörns in 2008. He became the club’s 15th skipper since the Bundesliga started in 1963, with Stefan Reuter, Michael Zorc, Manfred Burgsmüller, Siegfried Held, Wolfgang Paul and Alfred Schmidt – all Black n Yellow legends – among his predecessors.

“Borussia have a fantastic future ahead,“ said Kehl. “And I'm happy that I have been able to shape the story in recent years. I have decided to end my career after this season and to do so now as captain.” Kehl revealed he had already informed the club and coach of this at the end of last season. “It has nothing to do with commitment. Anyone who knows me knows that I give everything. I will remain part of the players’ council, and my role on and off the pitch will not change. The best thing would be if we could end my final season as a player with a trophy.”

Only Zorc has played longer than Kehl
So Kehl is now entering his final season as a player. At the end of this campaign he will have played 13 and a half years in black and yellow – only Michael Zorc (17 years) has played longer for BVB. In May 2015 Sebastian Kehl’s career will come to an end – it was full of great moments, serious injuries and furious determination.


Playing 329 competitive matches for them since 2002, Kehl has long become an institution at BVB. And who knows how many more it would have been had he not suffered a serious injury at the hands of Bayern’s Hasan Salihamidzic in August 2006. It took nearly two years to recover from this injury, with a string of others following.

Kehl is only one of five players - along with Willi Burgsmüller and Jockel Bracht as well Lars Ricken and Stefan Reuter - to win three Bundesliga titles with BVB (2002, 2011 and 2012). And he captained the team on 12 May 2012 when BVB won the German Cup to claim the first domestic double in their history. He was also part of Germany’s World Cup squad that finished runners-up and third in 2002 and 2006, respectively.