At the Hardtwald in Sandhausen, Nils Petersen once again showed his skills. From more than 18 meters he sunk the ball into the goal, which was a sight to behold, and thus finally decided the round of 16 in the DFB Cup. Almost two months after the sense of achievement against the second division soccer team, SC Freiburg’s crowd favorite announced the end of his career after this season.

“It was a difficult few weeks that led to my decision with my wife and family to say goodbye to football,” said 34-year-old Petersen in a club interview on Wednesday.

In almost 16 years he played for five different clubs – including Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich. The list of achievements is long. Petersen secured the top scorer in the second division, celebrated the silver medal with the German Olympic team at the 2016 Summer Games, matured into a national player and drew attention to himself as the best joker in Bundesliga history. His 33 goals as a substitute are unmatched. He is also enthroned at the top of the Freiburg top scorer list.

Petersen is partly responsible for the fact that Freiburg is currently experiencing the most successful time in its existence. “You should go when it’s most beautiful, and it’s beautiful right now,” said Petersen, who will continue to live in the area. “I guess I just have to clear my locker.” But before the attacker says goodbye, he wants to crown an already remarkable season with the SC, even though he’s no longer a regular.

Petersen has no plans for the time after his career. “I’m excited,” he said. Only last weekend, as a referee, did he referee the district league game between VfR Nierstein and TSV Mommenheim. “That was fun. I noticed that you can immerse yourself in other things and get absorbed in them,” said Petersen, who wants to stay connected to football in a different way.

Petersen had already thought about his future several times. It was not until December 2022 that a continuation of the career in Freiburg or at another club was considered in addition to the end of the career.

Three months later it was clear: the goal that Petersen scored in the 2-0 win in Sandhausen could have been one of the last in his professional career.