Philipp Lahm hangs up Germany cleats

National team captain’s retirement confirmed by federation.

Afp July 18, 2014

BERLIN: Germany captain Philipp Lahm on Friday ended his international career just five days after leading his country to a World Cup triumph in Brazil.

Tributes immediately poured in for the 30-year-old Bayern Munich full back, who has played 113 games for Germany.

His career, already packed with Champions League and Bundesliga titles, culminated in Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Argentina that made Lahm only the 20th World Cup winning captain.

He showed off the World Cup to an estimated 500,000 people who gave the team a heroes’ welcome in Berlin on Tuesday.

The international retirement, confirmed by Lahm’s agent Roman Grill to the SID sports news agency, took Germany by surprise.

But the German Football Federation (DFB) confirmed that it would have to find a new captain.

“It’s the right time for me [after the title],” Grill quoted Lahm.

Grill said Lahm had been considering ending his international playing days all season.

“I made the decision that the World Cup in Brazil would be my final tournament,” added Lahm.

Lahm, one of the best defenders of his generation, has been Germany’s captain since 2010.

DFB President Wolfgang Niersbach was informed of Lahm’s decision on Friday morning.

“I thanked him for 10 years of superb work together,” said Lahm.

Niersbach said that he “quickly understood that there was no question of making him [Lahm] change his mind”.

He praised Lahm as “not only an extraordinary player, but also an absolute role model”.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2014.

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