Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski has hailed the contribution of Germany team-mate Philipp Lahm to the world champions following the 30-year-old’s decision to retire from international football.
The surprise announcement brings down the curtain on a decorated career on the biggest stage in football and arrives less than a week after the Bayern Munich star held aloft the World Cup in Brazil.
Gunners attacker Podolski took to social media site Twitter to praise the defender and said: “Ten years in the national team, three years for Bayern – Philipp It was a pleasure to play in one team with you.”
Liverpool stalwart Dietmar Hamann, who also played alongside Lahm for Germany, echoed the Arsenal man’s sentiments on the site, adding: “Philipp Lahm retires from international football.
“Great servant for the national team and a well deserved World Cup-winning captain.”
Germany must now begin the process of electing a new skipper, as Lahm was widely-expected to lead his side into the European Championships in France in 2016.
His final appearance proved to be an iconic one. Winning his 113th cap, he inspired the Germans to the narrowest of victories in Sunday’s final against Argentina.
With the tight contest seemingly destined for a penalty shoot-out, Joachim Low’s men kept their composure and won 1-0 after extra-time courtesy of Mario Gotze’s fine finish.