Feb 9, 2013; Santa Barbara, CA, USA; Chicago Fire defender Arne Friedrich (23) in the first half of the game against the San Jose Earthquakes at Harder Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA Today Sports

Friedrich announces retirement

Chicago Fire defender Arne Friedrich is hanging up his cleats.

Friedrich, 34, a German national announced his retirement from professional soccer on Sunday morning via Twitter and his personal website.

“After much consideration and consultation with my doctors and physical therapists I have decided to finish my professional soccer career,” Friedrich wrote on his personal website. “The last couple of weeks and month I have been suffering from increasing back pain. With two herniated discs in my lower back, I am no longer able to fulfill the demands of a professional soccer player. For this reason, I have asked the Chicago Fire to terminate my contract.”

Friedrich returned to Germany to undergo medical treatment for his back problems earlier this season and did not see Major League Soccer action during the 2012-2013 campaign. During his first season with the Fire he was named the club’s defender of the year.

Friedrich played in 82 international games for Germany and was a member of the 2006 and 2010 German squads that placed third in the FIFA World Cup.

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Tags: Arne Friedrich Chicago Fire MLS

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