Borussia Dortmund defender Marcel Schmelzer will step down from his role as the club's captain next season, the Westphalian side have confirmed.
Schmelzer has skippered the side for the last two years, taking over the armband following Mats Hummels' departure to Bayern Munich in 2016. The 30-year-old has been the 17th captain of Borussia Dortmund since the inception of the Bundesliga in 1963.
But following a mixed campaign at the Westfalenstadion, where Schmelzer has often missed out on a starting spot to the likes of Dan Axel-Zagadou or Manuel Akanji, the veteran defender confirmed that it was his decision to step down ahead of the new season.
"I'm proud to have served as captain for two years - and that I managed to win many titles with the club, one of which came as captain," Schmelzer confirmed, quoted by Dortmund's official website.
"But I also think that we have many players in the squad who are capable of taking on this role. Plus there's the fact that the club wishes to make a fresh start in the summer. With that in mind, it's only right that this role should be reallocated."
Marcel Schmelzer shouldn’t worry about the captaincy. With this shirt all players look like wearing the armband.— Stefan Buczko (@StefanBuczko) May 23, 2018
Borussia Dortmund fans were eager to see the 2017/18 season come to an end, with the Black and Yellows not having much joy under either Peter Bosz or Peter Stöger.
But after booking their place in the top four by the skin of their teeth - and qualifying for the Champions League in the process - supporters will be hoping that their new manager, Lucien Favre, will have more success next year.