Philip Lahm retires from international soccer after winning World Cup with Germany

By Brian McMahon,
Legendary defender calling it quits after 103 international appearances

Philipp Lahm has announced his retirement from international soccer. The captain of Germany since 2010, Lahm is going out on the highest note possible, after having just led Germany to their fourth World Cup title.

Lahm, 30, informed the German Football Federation (DFB) president Wolfgang Niersbac of his decision in a telephone call on Friday, according to The AP. Lahm had played in 103 games for the The Eagles.

Lahm's decision marks the end of a spectacular international career, which included trips to three World Cup semifinals and an appearance in a Euro Cup final. Before Germany's 1-0 victory over Argentina on July 13, Lahm had not been able to win a major trophy with Germany.

Lahm demonstrated his versatility throughout the World Cup, as he played as both a defensive midfielder and a right back during the tournament. He is considered one of the best defensive players of his generation, as he has made the UEFA Team of the Year four times since 2006.

The 5'7 speedster will continue to play for his club team, Bayern Munich, which he is also the captain of. A Euro Cup is the only prestigious trophy Lahm has failed to win during his career, as Germany fell 1-0 to Spain back in 2008. His German teammate Lukas-Podolski voiced his respect and appreciation for him on Twitter.

It is not unprecedented for a player to come out of international retirement to appear in a major tournament. Henrik Larsson came out of retirement to play for Sweden in the 2008 Euro Final, and Zinedine Zidane returned to play in the 2010 Word Cup after saying he had played his last game for France.

Lahm will only be 32 when the next Euro Cup comes around in 2016. Maybe two years will be enough rest, and he will try and capture the one major trophy that eludes him.

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