Yesterday, Poland-born German football player and Galatasaray S.K. forward Lukas Podolski announced retirement from international football.
File photo of Lukas Podolsk
Debuting internationally in 2004, Podolski has won 129 international caps, Germany's third all time most capped player after Lothar Matthäus and Miroslav Klose. 31-year-old Lukas Podolski is the third top-scorer for Germany, netting 48 goals.
Four years ago, Podolski became the youngest player to make 100 international appearances for Germany aged 27 years 13 days. He was part of the German squad for the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament in France making his final appearance for Germany against Slovakia which was his seventh major tournament.
Podolski won the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Podolski was awarded Best Young Player in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, hosted in Germany. Podolski said, "I feel like my focus has shifted [...] My time is over [...] I arrived in Germany as a two-year-old boy with basically only a football under my arm and am now a world champion. That is more than I could ever have dreamt of."
German football manager Joachim Löw said, "Just like Basti [Bastian Schweinsteiger], Lukas was always a constant for me. We have always relied on him and still do to this day. He is a role model in terms of his professionalism and attitude, and he always puts the team’s success ahead of anything else."((de)).
Podolski was the fifth player to retire from Germany's 2014 World Cup squad. Last month, German captain Bastian Schweinsteiger announced retirement from international football. Other players who left the German national squad after winning the World Cup are Philipp Lahm, Miroslav Klose, and Per Mertesacker.