Bellarabi will leave Bayer Leverkusen after 12 seasons

DÜSSELDORF (GERMANY), 16 May. (dpa/EP) –

Former German international Karim Bellarabi will leave Bayer Leverkusen after 12 seasons with the team, the Bundesliga club reported Tuesday.

The striker had already been ruled out for the rest of the season last week after suffering a torn muscle in his left thigh. It is not yet clear if he will go to another club or retire.

“With Bellarabi we lose a well-deserved player who is very popular around the club. Karim played a hugely important role in the team,” Leverkusen general manager Fernando Carro said.

Bellarabi has played 290 official matches with Leverkusen, in which he has scored 57 goals and provided 66 assists. With Germany, he played 11 games between 2014 and 2016. His contract with the Bundesliga club ends this summer.

“It’s been an incredible time for me. I’ve experienced great things and played fantastic games for this club. Leverkusen have grown so close to my heart that this well-considered step hurts a lot,” said the player.

Bellarabi still hopes he can win the Europa League title with the club. Leverkusen were beaten 1-0 in the first leg of their semi-final against Roma last week and will host the Italian team in the second leg on Thursday. “It would be a wonderful end to my career in red and black, it would be a dream! There is nothing I want more for this club,” he declared.