In these modern times the one-club man is becoming a thing of the past and club legends are becoming harder and harder to find. One such legend and one-club man, Jonas Hector, has announced his intention to hang up his boots at the end of the season.
1.FC Köln’s 3-1 win away at Hoffenheim brought a smile to the faces of the Billy Goats’ fans, but the joyous mood of the afternoon was soon tempered by the news that club legend Jonas Hector is planning to retire at the end of the current Bundesliga season.
“After my family, it was important for me to first inform my team, the coaching team and the staff. For the moment I don’t want to say more than that I’m incredibly grateful for what we have together at FC. Now we want to enjoy five great weeks until the end of the season.”
Club captain Hector joined the club in 2010 after starting his amateur career with SV Auersmacher. After beginning with the second side, Hector progressed to the first team in 2012 and has been an almost ever-present fixture for the past eleven years. He took over the club captaincy in 2016 and has lived through all the ups and downs with the Domstadt club including relegation, promotion and achieving European qualification. He permanently won the hearts of the club’s fans when opting to stay with the club following relegation in 2018.
“”I don’t want to say much about it today” managing director Christian Keller said after the Hoffenheim win. “Jonas informed us about this in advance. After reaching 35 points, it was clear that he would tell the team today. Without wanting to go into detail, but every single reason why he wants to quit professional football is totally understandable. The team honoured a great FC player with prolonged applause. After the season we will say thank you.
“Words cannot sum up what Jonas Hector means to 1. FC Köln, the city and all FC fans. He is one of the greatest players to have worn this shirt! The FC captain has been incomparably loyal to FC for more than a decade – in good times and bad. He led FC to the European Cup twice.”
32-year-oldHector has thus far made 221 Bundesliga appearances as well as 86 in the second tier for Köln. He was capped 43 times by Germany and was a member of the squad that won the 2017 Confederations Cup. He was a member of the Euro 2016 squad and scored the decisive penalty against Italy in the quarter-final. He was also in the German squad for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.
The word legend is bandied around all to readily, but you will struggle to find a single Köln fan not prepared to dish the label out to Jonas Hector.