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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Aug 15, 2014

Per Mertesacker quits Germany duty

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop weighs in on Per Mertesacker's decision to retire from international competition.

Per Mertesacker has become the third member of Germany's 2014 World Cup-winning squad to retire from international football.

The Arsenal defender, 29, has called time on his career with the Nationalmannschaft a month after lifting the World Cup in Brazil, following in the footsteps of Philipp Lahm and Miroslav Klose.

MOST-CAPPED GERMANY PLAYERS

1) Lothar Matthaus - 150 (1980-2000) 

2) Miroslav Klose -137 (2001-2014)  

3) Lukas Podolski - 116 (2004-present) 

4) Philipp Lahm - 113 (2004-2014) 

5) Jürgen Klinsmann - 108 (1987-1998)  

6) Bastian Schweinsteiger - 108 (2004-present)

7 Jürgen Kohler - 105 (1986-1998) 

8) PER MERTESACKER - 104 (2004-2014) 

"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 defence -- winning 104 caps and playing at five major tournaments. 

Per Mertesacker won 104 caps for Germany

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 6ft 6in centre-back will now be free to focus on his club career with Arsenal, alongside former international teammates. Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski.

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