BERLIN (AFP) – Germany captain Philipp Lahm, who led his country to a World Cup triumph in Brazil, is to quit international football, his agent told the DPA news agency on Friday.
The announcement comes with immediate effect after Mario Gotze sealed a 1-0 victory for Germany in extra time against Argentina at the Maracana last Sunday.
The 30-year-old Bayern Munich defender has played 113 times for Germany, scoring five goals.
“It’s the right time for me (after the title),” the player was quoted as telling his agent Roman Grill.
“I made the decision that the World Cup in Brazil would be my final tournament,” Lahm said.
Lahm said that he was leaving “in perfect harmony” with the German Football Federation (DFB).
Lahm was the undisputed leader of the German team and a close confidant of coach Joachim Loew during the World Cup.
The full-back, who will continue playing club football for Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, made his international debut in 2004 against Croatia.
His contract with Bayern runs until 2018.
Five facts on Philipp Lahm, Germany’s World Cup winning captain, who announced his international retirement on Friday:
– Lahm, one of the best defenders of his generation, has played 113 games for Germany in an international career that started in February, 2004 in a 2-1 win over Croatia. His last game was the 1-0 win over Argentina in the World Cup final on Sunday.
– Although a defender, Lahm scored five times for Germany. He says his most important came in the 90th minute of the 2008 European Championship semi-final against Turkey. In the final it was a mistake between Lahm and goalkeeper Jens Lehmann that cost the goal that gave Spain victory.
– Lahm, who has played as left and right back, joined Bayern Munich at 11. He made his debut for the senior side in 2002, but the side had so many top defenders that he was loaned out to Vfb Stuttgart from 2003 to 2005.
– Lahm has had to battle back from serious injury several times. On his return from Stuttgart to Bayern, he had a torn cruciate ligament which kept him out for six months. At the same time he also had a stress fracture of his foot.
– Bayern imposed its then biggest ever disciplinary fine against Lahm in November 2009, reported to be more than 25,000 euros, for giving a newspaper interview in which he criticised the club transfer policy and its tactics. He was made club captain in 2011 and led the team to their 2013 Champions League, German title and German Cup triple triumph.