Berlin (AFP) – Germany left-back Jonas Hector has signed a contract extension with Cologne even though the club is likely to play in the German second division vext season, it was announced on Monday.
Hector is set to start for Germany at the World Cup finals in Russia even though his club is on the brink of relegation at the bottom of the Bundesliga.
“It would have been easy to move to another club after this season, but that did not feel right to me,” said the 27-year-old.
“FC Cologne allowed me to go from the regional leagues to the national team.”
With three games left, Cologne are eight points from safety and have only a mathematical chance of staying up.
Anything other than a win at Freiburg on Saturday will send them down after three years back in the Bundesliga.
Nevertheless, Hector has committed his future and signed a two-year extension to stay at Cologne until 2023.
Having joined in 2010 and played in 187 games for the club, Hector is staying loyal.
He has made 36 international appearances, scoring three goals, having broken into the Germany team after the 2014 World Cup.
He had widely been expected to leave Cologne once their relegation is confirmed due a release clause in his contract.
“Jonas is an extraordinary player and an extraordinary person, the like of which is rare in football today,” said Cologne’s director of football Armin Veh.
“His commitment to Cologne is a great signal for the team, the club and our fans.”
Hector would not be setting a precedent if he plays for Cologne in the second division.
Lukas Podolski was also a Germany international while at Cologne when they were relegated in 2004/05.