Tabea Kemme has been forced to end her career early due to long-standing injury problems. The 28-year-old defender made 47 appearances with the Germany women’s national team, winning Olympic gold in 2016. With the U17s, she was crowned European champion in 2008 and became a world champion in 2010 with the U20s.
After twelve years with Bundesliga side, 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam, with whom she won the Champions League and four league titles, she made the switch to English giants Arsenal in 2018, where she went on to win the Women's Super League. However, due to heavy cartilage damage, appearances with the London club were limited. Despite her very best efforts, in the end, she didn't manage to remain injury-free. This had its consequences.
"It was a difficult decision to take", Kemme said in an interview with DFB.de. "However, I'm feeling relieved, because I now have clarity after almost two years of constant injuries and rehab. Now I can get ready for life after my footballing career. Not a day has gone by when I regretted this long journey; I've gotten the most I can out of myself and my body, with help from the medical team. One my best memories is playing 45 minutes against FC Bayern in the Emirates. This chapter is now over, but I'm looking forwards to life after football and I'm facing it with joy."
DFB Vice President Hannelore Ratzeburg said, "it's a shame that Tabea has to end her career so early. I've always thought she was a fighter, and very focused. She was a free spirit and has a special talent for always seeing the positive side of things. She never let herself be beaten, was always a role model, and therefore I am very confident that she will find her way even after her career has ended. I wish her all the best and would like to thank her for her contribution."
Kemme last represented Germany in the SheBelieves Cup 2018 in the USA. Joti Chatzialexiou, sporting director of the national teams, who was there in the USA for the tournament, said, "I have a lot of respect for Tabea's decision and can imagine how difficult it was to take. I got to know Tabi as a 'real charater'; she is always at the front, was always there for her teammates and took on every challenge. In her, the national team is losing a special player and a great person. I now wish her all the very best for the future."