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Former Germany defender Friedrich retires

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BERLIN (AP) - Former Germany defender Arne Friedrich says he is retiring from professional football and has asked the Chicago Fire to terminate his contract for the MLS team.

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The 34-year-old Friedrich wrote on his website Sunday that he made the decision after ``much consideration and consultation'' with his doctors.

He said he has experienced increasing back pain in recent weeks. He added: ``With two herniated disks in my lower back, I am no longer able to fulfill the demands of a professional soccer player.''

Friedrich formerly played for Hertha Berlin and Wolfsburg. He made 82 appearances for Germany.

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