Munich, Germany (4E Sports) – Defender Per Mertesacker has announced his retirement from international football after helping Germany win the 2014 World Cup.
The 29-year-old Arsenal defender became the third member of World Cup-winning squad to retire from international football, following Philipp Lahm and Miroslav Klose.
“First and foremost it was about me, after a 10-year career in the team, being able to say when the chapter ended,” Mertesacker said.
Since making his debut against Iran in 2004, Mertesacker has been a mainstay in the Germany defense — winning 104 caps and playing at five major tournaments.
Only seven players — Lothar Matthaus, Klose, Lukas Podolski, Lahm, Jurgen Klinsmann, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Jurgen Kohler — have played for Germany more times than Mertesacker.
The 6-6 center-back will now be free to focus on his club career with Arsenal, alongside former international teammates Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski.