Franz Schiemer has seen a lot in football, but he also has the vision to know that enough’s enough.
Despite being just 28 and holding 25 caps for the Austrian national team, the defender is retiring after this weekend due to a series of head injuries and, more recently, groin troubles.
So this Sunday when Red Bull Salzburg takes on Rapid Vienna, Schiemer will say goodbye to the playing field.
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And his reasoning is pragmatic and laudable.
Schiemer says “I am not as resilient anymore and it’s against my character to play football without giving 100 percent.”
The center back wore a head guard when he came on as a substitute in the closing minutes of Salzburg’s Europa League game against Astra Giurgiu on Thursday.
The four-time Austrian Bundesliga and four-time Austrian Cup winner is doing what many cannot: Walking away before he does even more damage to his body. Maybe his bank account won’t thank him, but perhaps one day his grandkids will.
To be honest, if I were independently wealthy, I’d hop a plane just to see and laud his final bow.