By Henrik Petersen

Bender twins to retire at the end of the season

Bayer Leverkusen will be saying goodbye to Lars and Sven Bender at the end of the season, at which point the twin brothers will be hanging up their boots.
Lars and Sven Bender will be retiring from football at the end of the season, Bayer Leverkusen have announced.

The twin brothers, 31, are out of contract at the end of the season and have decided not to sign new deals.

"Everyone who knows us knows that we give 100% every day. That was always the basic requirement for us. Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly difficult for us to continuously access this with all the pain and physical problems from which we are suffering more and more," Lars and Sven Bender said in a joint statement.

Leverkusen sporting managing director Rudi Völler praised the brothers for their attitude and professionalism.

"There are few players in the Bundesliga like Lars and Sven. They represent football class, extreme professionalism and absolute reliability plus determination and commitment," said Völler.

"We need their qualities in the remaining six months to achieve our big targets. Exactly that ambition is evident in both of them who always give 100 per cent right to the end. And regarding Lars, I've hardly seen another player at Leverkusen who has identified so much with Bayer 04. We owe Lars a huge amount of gratitude."

Lars and Sven Bender have played more than 400 games for Leverkusen combined.

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