A giant says goodbye: Schmid calls an end to his star-studded playing career

30 Jan. 2024

A giant says goodbye: Schmid calls an end to his star-studded playing career

After an illustrious career, which spanned over 20 years and saw him score more than 1000 goals for Switzerland men’s national team, centre back André Schmid called an end to his career, in an emotional Instagram post, with the decision being confirmed by the Swiss Handball Association.

Schmid, one of the few dozen of players with at least 1000 goals for his national team, was one of the best centre backs in the last decades of handball, being named the MVP of the Bundesliga five times, in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, while playing for Rhein-Neckar Löwen.

Over the course of his career, he featured for five teams – Grasshopper Zurich, Amicitia Zurich, Bjerringbro-Silkeborg, Rhein-Neckar Löwen and HC Kriens-Luzern, over the past two seasons, winning the Men’s EHF Cup in 2013, as well as two Bundesliga titles and two Swiss national league titles.

"After the last emotional games with the national team in Germany and an intensive period of reflection, I decided together with those responsible at HC Kriens-Luzern to end my playing career with immediate effect. On the one hand, my wish came true to be part of the national team at the Euros and in the country where I was able to celebrate my greatest successes,” said Schmid, according to the Swiss Handball Association’s website.

“It is also a privilege as a top athlete to determine the end yourself and not because of a serious injury. The last few years have left their mark, my body is now paying the toll of my long career in the form of minor injuries.”

Schmid has been synonymous with the Switzerland national team, and has become the all-time top scorer during the EHF EURO 2024, finishing his career with 1094 goals in 218 matches for Switzerland, after making his debut in 2003.

He has also played an active part in the team’s comeback to the IHF Men’s World Championship, when Switzerland finished on the 16th place at Egypt 2021, making their return to the world handball flagship competition for the first time since 1995.

At club level, Schmid says farewell to handball while being the current top scorer of the EHF European League Men for HC Kriens-Luzern in the 2023/24 season, with 60 goals, another indicator that his form was superb even in the last year of his career.

The former centre back will now move into coaching, with his first challenge being the takeover of the Switzerland men’s senior national team, which will take place this summer, as Schmid replaces current coach Michael Suter.