Germany captain Philipp Lahm announces his retirement from international football
World Cup victory proves a perfect finale for Bayern Munich star
Germany’s Philipp Lahm: made 113 appearances during his outstanding international career which culminated with victory over Argentina in the World Cup final in Brazil. Photo: Fernando Bizerra Jr/EPA
The 30-year-old announced his retirement from international football with immediate effect, saying he knew before flying out to South America that it was going to be his last tournament for Germany whatever the outcome.
“Over the course of last season, I made up my mind that I was going to end my international career after the World Cup, ” Lahm said in a letter posted on the German federation (DFB) website.
“I informed Germany coach Joachim Löw of this decision on Monday at breakfast. I’m grateful and thankful that the end of my career coincides with winning the World Cup in Brazil with the national team.”
Lahm is currently on holiday “concluding my international career also in my mind” after bringing an end to a decade with the national team.
After making his debut in February 2004 against Croatia, Lahm made a total of 113 appearances for his country.
He became captain in 2010, prior to the World Cup in South Africa after Michael Ballack was forced out through an injury which effectively ended his international career.
“He can be proud of his career,” Low said on the DFB site. “He is a fantastic player with a big heart, lots of passion and character, and he has achieved a great deal with the DFB. Thanks Philipp!”
Low added: “He was always a central and very important figure to talk to, with whom we were able to discuss our ideas.”
Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge led the praise on the Bavarian club’s website “There’s hardly a better way to call it a day than as world champion, at the pinnacle of your career. It’s not going to be easy for the national team to replace Lahm as a player, person and captain.”
German chancellor Angela Merkel, who has closely followed the fortunes of the national team, also commented on Lahm’s decision. “I’d like to express my respect for what he achieved with the national team,” she said.
In England, Louis van Gaal has given a number of young and fringe players the chance to prove themselves in his first Manchester United squad.
Twenty-five players accompanied the new boss on yesterday’s flight to the US for their pre-season tour.
Youth-team products Sam Johnstone, Tyler Blackett, Michael Keane, Reece James, Jesse Lingard and Will Keane all made the cut, but there was no room for James Wilson and Tom Lawrence or Nick Powell.
Robin van Persie, Javier Hernandez, Marouane Fellaini and Adnan Januzaj are still on holiday after the World Cup.
The fate of Anderson and Bebe already appears to be sealed, though, after they were left out along with left-back Patrice Evra, who is expected to join Juventus.
Yaya Toure has said he has no intention of leaving Premier League champions Manchester City and is looking forward to the new season with them.
Senegalese striker Demba Ba has completed his transfer from Chelsea to Besiktas of Turkey. Besiktas said the fee for the 29-year-old was €5.9 million.