MOSCOW, July 31. /TASS/. German national team’s footballer Benedikt Howedes, who played for Russia’s Lokomotiv Moscow FC until recently, announced a decision to wrap up his sports career, Germany’s daily Der Spiegel announced on Friday.
"I kept thinking about it [wrapping up sports career] and also received several job offers from football clubs in Germany and from abroad, but I didn’t want to be dependent anymore on decisions made by other people," the German footballer said in an interview with Der Spiegel.
"I wanted to draw the final line today as I notice that more time is required for my recoveries," Howedes continued.
"I have recently enjoyed a tourist bus ride in the south of France with my wife and child, and then I figured out how sad it was to realize how you get to know your son so well [after so much time]," Howedes said. "Football suddenly became for me not as important as it used to be."
Early last month, Russia’s Lokomotiv Moscow football club stated its decision to cancel the club’s contract with German player Howedes, based on mutual consent of both parties.
The 32-year-old German footballer joined Lokomotiv Moscow FC for the 2018/2019 RPL season and his contract with the club was in force until the summer of 2021. The club’s press service stated in June that Howedes made a decision to part with Lokomotiv Moscow FC citing family reasons.
German daily Bild reported at that time that Howedes was concerned about the situation with the spread of the novel coronavirus in Russia.
Playing for the German national football team, Howedes scored two goals in his 44-match appearances and won the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil with his national squad. He is also a holder of two bronze medals of the UEFA Euro Cup as part of his national team.
In late December 2019, Chinese officials informed the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 17,499,700 people have been infected worldwide and more than 677,000 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 10,956,400 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.
To date, 839,981 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 638,410 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 13,963 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.