Friday , June 2 2023

Karim Bellarabi to leave Bayer Leverkusen at end of season!

A Werkself legend is calling it a day. At the end of the current 2022/23 season, Karim Bellarabi will end his playing career in Germany and hanging up his Bayer 04 Leverkusen shirt after twelve eventful seasons.

“It was a really incredible time for me. I’ve experienced great things and played in fantastic games for this club. I have grown really close to Bayer 04 so that this well-considered step still really, really hurts,” said the forward after more than a decade in Leverkusen.

“Karim was an outstanding Bundesliga player for many years and always a sporting embodiment of our club. I had the pleasure of playing alongside him. His runs were as equally feared by opponents as his dangerous shooting technique,” said sporting managing director Simon Rolfes. “I wish him all the best after so many years under the Bayer Cross. It’s a great shame that Karim is only able to watch the last games of the season from the stands due to his injury. But he will be close to us and support us with all his energy. We want to go through to the final of the Europa League after the game against AS Roma on Thursday for Karim too. He was always an important part of the team – Karim has more than deserved this culmination to his Werkself career,” said Rolfes.

As the chairman of the Bayer 04 board, Fernando Carro underlined, “in Karim Bellarabi, we are going to lose a valued and very popular player across the whole of Bayer 04. Karim has played an enormously important role in the team in spite of less time on the pitch recently. He always provided valuable support and was always available, particularly for young players. I wish Karim all the best in the future.”

Before his departure from Leverkusen, Bellarabi is hoping for “the great chance to finally win a title with Bayer 04. I have always worked for that over the past ten years,” declared the 33-year-old. “That would be a wonderful conclusion to my career in Black and Red, it will be a dream come true. I couldn’t wish more for this club.”

Bellarabi joined Bayer 04 from the then third division club Eintracht Braunschweig at the age of 20 in 2011. With a break of one season that he spent on loan at Braunschweig on their promotion to the Bundesliga in 2013/14, the pacy forward always played for Bayer 04 in Germany’s top flight. On top of that, there were DFB Cup ties as well as European appearances in the Champions League and the Europa League. He scored 57 goals and provided 66 assists in 290 appearances. Bellarabi also earned his first cap for Germany during his time at Leverkusen and he went on to play in eleven internationals (scoring one goal).

If his body plays along and he receives interesting offers then Bellarabi is considering continuing his career outside Europe. “Although my departure from Leverkusen is coming up in a short time, it’s all still up in the air,” said Bellarabi. “Now I’m going to cross my fingers that we win the last two Bundesliga matches and go through against AS Roma on Thursday to reach the final in Budapest on May 31.”

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