By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Hector on decision to retire: "Tired of constant pressure."

Speaking to Germany's "11Freunde" magazine, FC Köln legend Jonas Hector revealed that the constant stress of professional football played a role in his decision to hang up his cleats. 
Never one to particularly enjoy publicity, 1. FC Köln and German national team fullback Jonas Hector revealed in a recent interview with "11 Freunde" that he would not be missing the duties of representing his club to the media. Interestingly enough, the 32-year-old even said that he wasn't a particularly happy person in his 11 seasons playing for club and country.

"When I think back on everything, I have to say: 'no'," Hector said when asked if he had been consistently happy during his career, "to constantly be in the public eye as professionals do, it's a life of constant pressure. At FC, we have never been in calm waters in recent years. I no longer want to live in the feeling of constantly fighting for survival."

Hector revealed that he first began pondering retirement as his Geißböcke fought for survival towards the end of the 2020/21 campaign. Broadcast cameras famously caught Hector sitting inconsolable on the pitch after a matchday 28 loss against Mainz that year. After losing the first leg of the relegation playoffs against Holstein Kiel that year, Hector famously lashed out at a reporter whilst dealing with post-match stress.

Hector had retired from international duty earlier that season, declining any further Nationalmannschaft call-ups in October of 2020. In his interview with the German footballing magazine, Hector noted that the passing of his agent and brother played a role. There was evidently only time for grieving and club. The matter of country simply had to take a back seat.

When asked about the prospect of ever reversing his decision to retire, Hector did say that one should "never say never" in football. The veterans statements about his plans for retirement nevertheless suggested that he was very much looking forward to life out of the limelight.

"I'll devote myself to gardening on Saturdays," Hector noted, "then I'll take a relaxed stroll to the stadium and observe things from a neutral point of view."

Hector's final match for Köln will coincide with his 33rd birthday. The Domstädter, who have already clinched safety this year, will host FC Bayern Müncehn on May 27th at the RheinEnergieStadion.

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