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Philipp Lahm Retires from Germany International Duty

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The 30-year-old caps his international career with a World Cup trophy

Matthias Hangst

With a World Cup now in his trophy case, Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm has elected to retire from international duty.

"I already indicated to Jogi Löw on Monday that I would withdraw from the national team," Lahm told Bild. "This resolution matured in me during the last season."

Lahm ends his career with the Nationalelf after 113 caps, the fourth most German appearances ever for a Bayern player – only Lothar Matthäus (150), Miroslav Klose (137), and Lukas Podolski (116) have more.

"Philipp called me this morning and informed me personally of this step," DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach told FIFA.com. "During our talk, I realised very quickly that it would have been pointless trying to talk him out of his decision.

"He was not only an exceptional player for the national team in these 10 years, but was always a role model. I have thanked him for everything that he has achieved for the DFB."

Now 30, Lahm already announced that his contract extension until 2018 would be his last, putting an expiration date on his club career. Now his retirement from the national team is the next step to his modest departure from football.

With his departure, vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger will likely take over Germany's captaincy, although Per Mertesacker and Manuel Neuer could both be candidates to dawn the armband as well. Jérôme Boateng, who played the right fullback positions in each of Germany's last two World Cups, will likely be the first in line to fill Lahm's fullback shoes, although a younger option – Erik Durm, Shkrodan Mustafi, Oliver Sorg, Tony Jantschke, Marvin Plattenhardt – could also emerge.

The only team trophy Lahm does not have as part of his collection is a European Championship, but considering every other trophy run he has been a part of, that absence is irrelevant. He is on the shortlist for the UEFA European Player of the Year, and he will leave the international team as arguably the best fullback to play for Germany.