Borussia Monchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl has stepped down from the role after becoming "drained" and "tired".

Eberl has served in the post for 13 years but confirmed on Friday at an emotional news conference that he was calling it quits.

The former Gladbach defender, who signed as a player in 1999, revealed that he was no longer enjoying the job.

"This is by far the hardest press conference I have had to hold in my time as sporting director at Borussia," said Eberl. 

"I am drained. I am tired. I just no longer have the energy to carry on fulfilling this role in the way the club deserves.

"After 23 years [with Gladbach], I'm calling time on what has become my life. My work here has always been a joy, but there are things in and around the job that are no fun any more."

He leaves at a time when Adi Hutter's side are slipping down the table amid a run of just four points from the past eight games, while second-tier Hannover dumped them out of the DFB-Pokal this month.

But Eberl, who extended his contract in 2020, insists the team's slide has nothing to do with his decision.

"I can understand the people who might question the timing of my decision with the position the club is in," he said. 

"But I just don't have the strength to keep doing this job the way I have for so long.

"I extended my contract 13 months ago and would never have thought that I'd be sitting here today. I'm somebody who puts 100 per cent into everything I do. I have done that for 13 years as sporting director."

Speaking about his plans for life after football, he added: "I just want to be Max Eberl. I want to see the world and just focus on myself for once in my life.

"I haven't made this decision in order to move to another club. For now, I don't want anything to do with football.

"My wish is for football to be the focus rather than making a circus of everything surrounding it. I feel like more respect is needed. There had already been abuse and rumours about my decision before I had even said a single word.

"You don't have to worry about me. I will enjoy myself and perhaps I'll just fall off the map for a while. It was an honour to be able to work for Borussia Mönchengladbach."

Adi Hutter apologised to supporters after his Borussia Monchengladbach team were trounced 6-0 at home by Freiburg, with all six goals coming in a remarkable first half.

High-flying Freiburg became the first team ever in the Bundesliga to score five goals away from home inside the opening 25 minutes of a match, and Gladbach midfielder Patrick Herrmann bemoaned "a catastrophic performance".

Maximilian Eggestein and Kevin Schade put the visitors two up with only five minutes gone, before Philipp Lienhart, Nicolas Hofler, Lucas Holer and Nico Schlotterbeck got in on the act to shock those in attendance at Borussia-Park on Sunday.

Gladbach had previously been the only side to score five goals in the opening 25 minutes of a match, that coming at home to Braunschweig in October 1984.

The loss leaves Gladbach in 13th place in the Bundesliga, with just 18 points from 14 games, and head coach Hutter made clear after the game that it was an unacceptable performance and result.

"I am incredibly disappointed," Hutter told the official club website. "I'm also very sorry for the spectators who made their way to the stadium. We win together and we lose together.

"A few weeks ago, we beat Bayern 5-0 here and we were all over the moon. Today, we saw a match that should never have played out the way it did. Of course, we knew that Freiburg are strong from set-pieces and we prepared for that in training, but I had the feeling that we were paralysed from them.

"I don't have an explanation for that right now. First and foremost, we have to apologise for the way we played today. That is unacceptable. If you saw the level in training, you would never imagine that a performance like that could happen. But then when you're 5-0 down after 25 minutes, it's obviously very disconcerting."

Sporting directer Max Eberl also spoke to the club website, making mention of the Foals' "lethargy", saying: "We conceded two early goals, and you could see how nervy it made everyone. No one wanted the ball, although, to be honest, we didn't have much of the ball in the opening period anyway.

"We just had this inexplicable lethargy and didn't carry a threat at all. I'm a bit bewildered right now. Tomorrow is about picking ourselves back up and digesting the defeat. We conceded four goals in Cologne, and now six today, but we also didn't do enough going forward with enough incisiveness either."

Gladbach's Herrmann simply added: "It's hard to put the game into words. We had already thrown it away after a matter of minutes. We just weren't at the races at all in the first half – it was a catastrophic performance. If you're 4-0 down after 20 minutes and then concede the fifth goal, everyone knows that the game is over."

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