Sebastian Kehl has relinquished the Borussia Dortmund captaincy and vowed to help his successor as he enters the final season of his career.
The 34-year-old announced in March that he will retire at the end of his contract in June 2015, and he has now decided to step aside as captain to allow Dortmund to begin building for the future.
Kehl, who joined the club in 2002, has lead a successful period in Dortmund's history, helping the German giants to two Bundesliga titles and the DFB Pokal since taking over the armband from Christian Worns in 2008.
However, after suffering with knee injuries in recent seasons, the midfielder believes now is the right time to allow someone else to lead the side so that he can impart his knowledge if required.
"I've decided to finish being captain from right now," Kehl told the club's official website. "I've already told this decision to the club and the coach at the end of the last season.
"I was very proud to be captain of Borussia Dortmund, I was very pleased about it, it was a great responsibility for me.
"But responsibility also means for me to care for the team and for the club. And that is how I have always lived and understood my role.
"Now I want to deliver the baton, that's makes absolute sense for me and it's also sustainable.
"Now there will be the possibility to help my follower as captain and to support him with all my experience from my last years."
Kehl hopes to finish his career with another league title and believes that although Bayern Munich have dominated German football recently, Dortmund can claim some silverware this season.
"I will try to give my best in the last season of my career and to play as much as possible," he added. "My role on and of the pitch will not change.
"The greatest thing would be to win a title at the end, that would be something very special for me, and I also wish this for my follower as captain because it would be a perfect introduction for him."
|Kruse: I am 100 per cent fit|
|Mexico 3 Trinidad and Tobago 3: Herrera the hero for Ferretti´s men|
|FFA expect Tajikistan match to go ahead despite Dushanbe violence|
|Panama 0 Uruguay 1: Stuani´s late header clinches win|
|CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Review: Jamaica stunned, Canada win|
|Argentina 7 Bolivia 0: Aguero, Messi star in rout|
|Canada 3 Belize 0: Hosts dominate in Toronto|
|Chelsea ´warehousing´ players - PFA chief|
|United States 2 Peru 1: Altidore inspires hosts´ comeback|
|Argentina 7-0 Bolivia: Aguero, Messi & Lavezzi net doubles in rout|
|Del Bosque unmoved by calls for two strikers|
|Deschamps praise for beautiful France|
|Fekir ruptures knee ligaments|
|Italy v Bulgaria: Conte warns against complacency|
|Euro 2016 Qualifiers Review: Germany top Group D, Northern Ireland edge closer|
|Low: Three points most important|
|Northern Ireland on the verge of a ´magnificent achievement´ - O´Neill|
|Scotland need something against Germany - Strachan|
|Portugal 0 France 1: Late Valbuena set-piece clinches deserved win|
|Faroe Islands 1 Northern Ireland 3: O´Neill´s men edge closer|
|Germany 3 Poland 1: Gotze sends world champions top|
|Gibraltar 0 Republic of Ireland 4: Irish hopes reignited|
|Djibouti 0 Togo 2: Saintfiet´s side make it two wins from two|
|Cyprus v Belgium: Benteke boost for Wilmots´ men|
|Roma youngster faces lengthy lay-off|
|United hit back at Perez barb over De Gea saga|
|Georgia 1 Scotland 0: Strachan´s men succumb to Tbilisi hoodoo|
|Hodgson prepared to blood new players|
|Porto invite Euro elite to help raise millions for migrants|
|Dortmund legend Dede backs Tuchel to succeed|
|Robben out for four weeks|
|Turkey v Netherlands: Terim expecting hostile atmosphere for crunch clash|
|Portugal 0-1 France: Valbuena strikes late to sink Ronaldo & Co|
|Wales v Israel: Euro 2016 beckons for Coleman´s history boys|
|Gala: No extra payment for Grosskreutz|
|Increase Bundesliga´s TV rights or be left behind - Rummenigge|
|Kane: I´m no flash in the pan|
|Perez: United showed inexperience in De Gea saga|
|Milligan: Socceroos wary of Tajikistan|
|Conte wants more players like Pelle|
|OFC World Cup Qualifying Review: Samoa to meet Tahiti in next round|
|Krychowiak stayed at Sevilla because of Emery|
|I never considered Bayern exit - Gotze|
|Balotelli ´not in good condition´, Milan must improve - Mihajlovic|
|Robben slams ´stupid´ Martins Indi|
|Robben laments injury blow|
|Euro 2016 Qualifiers Review: Bale edges Wales closer, Iceland dent Netherlands´ qualification hopes|
|De Bruyne relieved to ´boss´ Bosnia-Herzegovina|
|Blind furious after nightmare debut|
|Coleman sees shades of Charles in Bale winner|
|Conte only concerned about Italy winning|
|Mauritania v South Africa: SAFA to investigate Masilela no-show|
|AFC World Cup Qualifying Review: Qatar hit 15 in Bhutan rout|
|Belgium 3 Bosnia-Herzegovina 1: De Bruyne shines in straightforward victory|
|Cyprus 0 Wales 1: Bale winner takes Wales one step closer|
|Netherlands 0 Iceland 1: Sigurdsson winner caps difficult first game for Blind|
|Italy 1 Malta 0: Pelle spares wasteful Azzurri|
|Balotelli stars in Milan friendly win|
|Bhutan thrashed 15-0 by Qatar in qualifier|
|Rwanda v Ghana: Gyan doubt gives hosts hope|
|Tanzania v Nigeria: Enyeama out of AFCON qualifier|
|Valdes and Berahino included in Premier League squads|
|Costa Rica v Brazil: Dunga´s men return after Copa disappointment|
|Spain v Slovakia: Azpilicueta eyeing important revenge|
|Adebayor left out of Tottenham squad list for league and Europe|
|San Marino v England: Place in history books beckons for Rooney|
|Germany can cope with Reus absence - Low|
|Bayern offer aid to refugees in ´training camp´|
|BREAKING NEWS: Welbeck ruled out for months after knee surgery|
|South Korea 8 Laos 0: Son leads the way in rout|
|Australia 5 Bangladesh 0: Socceroos surge to emphatic win|
|Japan 3 Cambodia 0: Hosts pick up first qualifying win|
|Rudiger aiming to nail down Euros spot after Roma move|
|Melo happy to join Inter at last|
|Hernandez thanks Ferguson after United departure|
|Chung: AFC has compromised FIFA election|
|Wales the new best of British|
|Reus out of Germany qualifiers|
|Chile v Paraguay: Vidal missing for Copa champions|
|Ghedin: Anything is possible for Malta|
|Pogba will be worth €100m - Marotta|
|England can win Euro 2016 - Hodgson tells players|
|Conte unsure over Balotelli future|
|Argentina - Bolivia Preview: Mascherano backs 'very special' Messi|
|Portugal - France Preview: Deschamps aiming to correct mistakes|