Just days after winning the World Cup, Germany skipper Philipp Lahm has decided to retire from international football. The right-back has ensured that he will leave Die Mannschaft on a high, having twice come close to lifting the trophy in 2006 and 2010 before finally lifting it in Brazil this year.
He said: “For me it is the right moment. I am leaving the national team in total harmony. During the last season I gradually reached the decision that the World Cup in Brazil would be my last tournament. I totally enjoyed my time with the national team.”
Renowned for his pace, dribbling and precise tackling abilities as well as his small stature, giving him the nickname the “Magic Dwarf”, Lahm represented Germany at all levels, starting from the Germany under-17 team, then the u-18, u-19, u-20 and u-21 teams, finally making his senior debut at the age of 20 in a 2-1 win over Croatia, where he was named man-of-the-match for his impressive performance.
Named the national skipper at the World Cup 2010, he is one of the most respected footballers in the world, with his club manager Pep Guardiola saying, “Lahm is perhaps the most intelligent player I have ever trained in my career. He is at another level.” German FA President Wolfgang Niersbach said, “Lahm wasn’t just a fantastic player, but also always an absolute role model.”
Lahm is the only player to win the Champions League, Club World Cup and World Cup as captain. He retires having played 113 games, scoring 5 goals.