Switzerland's all-time top scorer Alexander Frei has announced he will bring his playing career to an end when his contract at FC Basel 1893 expires next June.
The 33-year-old, who scored 42 times in 84 appearances for his country, has decided to hang up his boots, explaining: "I can look back on a wonderful career and there's even still a chance to add another league title. It was very important for me to get the timing right and to make the decision myself." He has said he hopes to carry on at Basel in a different capacity following retirement.
Frei started out at FC Aesch in 1988, alongside Marco Streller, before moving to Basel in 1995 as a 16-year-old. In 1997/98 he made his first-team breakthrough, then, after spells at FC Thun, FC Luzern and Servette FC, Frei switched to Stade Rennais FC where he was Ligue 1's 19-goal leading marksman in 2004/05. He scored 34 more during a three-year Bundesliga stint at Borussia Dortmund from 2006–09 before rejoining Basel, winning three championship and two Swiss Cups.
A statement on the Basel website read: "FC Basel 1893 thank Alex Frei from the bottom of our hearts, as do the fans, for four unforgettable years that marked an extremely successful period for Basel. We are delighted to have had someone as special as Alex at the club."
Basel lie third in UEFA Europa League Group G and take on Sporting Clube de Portugal at St. Jakob-Park on matchday five, 22 November.
©UEFA.com 1998-2013. All rights reserved.