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.