Germany will have a new captain for its defense of the World Cup title.
Philipp Lahm, 30, has retired from international duty after leading Die Mannschaft to its fourth World Cup championship.
He earned 113 caps and five goals in a 10-year span with the senior team, and will continue as a player for Bayern Munich. He’s been with the Bavarians since age 11, apart from a couple seasons on loan to Stuttgart from 2003-05.
Here’s what Lahm said in an open letter on the German national team’s web site:
“During last season I made a decision to end my international career after the World Cup.
“I shared my decision with Germany coach Joachim Löw at breakfast on Monday. I am happy and thankful that the end of my national team career coincided with winning the World Cup in Brazil.
“I have been on holiday for the past three days and here have had the quiet and time to mentally come to terms with the end of my national team career. A heartfelt thank you for a wonderful time.”
Lahm goes out on top, as a member of the champions and the FIFA World Cup Top XI. He’s been named to the World Cup All-Star Team in 2006, 2010 and 2014.
There shouldn’t be a worry about leadership drop-off, as Bastian Schweinsteiger has been vice-captain under Joachim Low.
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) Officials in Honduras say thousands of soccer fans trying to force their way into a stadium for a championship match stampeded in panic when police fired tear gas, and at least four people and an unborn fetus were killed in the crush and 25 others were injured.
A spokesman for University Teaching Hospital says the victims died from suffocation and multiple broken bones from being trampled Sunday. Spokesman Miguel Osorio says a fetus died when its mother suffered severe injuries.
The stampede happened at the National Stadium as fans tried to push their way into the jammed venue to see the game between Motagua and Honduras Progreso.
About 600 police officers were guarding the stadium and used water cannon and tear gas trying to push back the crowds.
It is tough to explain how Huddersfield Town aren’t ahead at half time of the Championship playoff final at Wembley Stadium on Monday.
[ LIVE: Follow the action from Wembley ]
The Terriers had two glorious chances early on but Michael Hefele headed wide and then Izzy Brown — on loan from Chelsea — somehow put his effort wide from a yard out.
Reading only had a few forays forward but Jaap Stam’s men held firm with the score locked at 0-0 at the break.
Will David Wagner’s Huddersfield live to rue those missed chances?
Follow the second half live from Wembley by clicking on the link above.
The richest game in world soccer is here.
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Huddersfield Town and Reading clash at Wembley Stadium in the Championship playoff final, one win away from the Premier League with the final promotion spot up for grabs after Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion clinched automatic promotion.
Whoever wins this match will alter the path of their club for the foreseeable future.
The winner will not only receive a place in the PL but also a huge sum of $218 million for next season and if they stay up for just one season in the Premier League it is estimated to be worth $372 million.
Below is the team news…
Click on the link above to follow live updates from Wembley, while we will have analysis, reaction and more during and after the game.
After a 25-year career at AS Roma, Francesco Totti was handed a fitting farewell on Sunday.
The hometown hero, now 40 years of age, called time on his incredible Roma career and looked overwhelmed.
[ MORE: Totti’s incredible career ]
Coming on for the 786th and final appearance of his stunning career, the all-time leading scorer for Roma (307 goals in all competitions) helped his team secured a dramatic last-gasp 3-2 win over Genoa to seal second place in the Serie A table and an automatic spot in the UEFA Champions League next season.
Totti spurned big money moves to Real Madrid and Barcelona where he could have won the biggest trophies and individual titles in the game to stay at Roma. He won just one Scudetto with Roma but famously said that was worth 10 league titles had he played for another team.
[ MORE: Serie A final day roundup ]
Following the game it was all about Totti as his teammates and manager broke down in tears, and so too did Totti as he went on a lap of honor with his wife and children at a sold-out Stadio Olimpico.
Rome’s favorite son said goodbye and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
Watch the emotional farewell in the videos below.
I know. I have something in my eye too…