Former Arsenal superstar Lukas Podolski has announced his retirement from international football at the age of 31, bringing to an end a glittering 12-year career.
The Germany international, who is regarded as one of country’s most prolific strikers – has scored 48 goals in 129 appearances for the Germans.
The Poland-born Podolski’s last appearance for the national team was the 3-0 win over Slovakia at Euro 2016.
The 31-year-old, who currently plays for Turkish club Galatasaray, took to Instagram to announce the retirement with immediate effect..
Hello Fans, After twelve years and seven major tournaments, the time has come. I want to tell you today, that I have called Coach Löw to inform him, that I’ll not be part of the national team any longer. I’m at a point in my career where I want to cut it back a bit. Now, my focus shifts to other aspects. My club. My foundation. Obviously my family, my wife and my two kids. It was a hard decision to make. For me, the Mannschaft always has been and always will be an affair of the heart. I feel a great deal of pride: what an amazing time it has been, all that we achieved in these twelve years. It was an incomparable experience with so much joy, passion, emotion and togetherness. This two-year old boy, arriving in Germany with hardly more than a ball under his arm, winning the World Championship – I lived my dream. We won so much with the DFB-team. I have seen so many countries and cities, have met so many people, had so many unforgettable moments. It’s been quite a journey. Thanks to the DFB. Thanks to my fellow players. And heartfelt thanks to my coaches: Thank you, Rudi Völler. Thank you, Jürgen Klinsmann. And most of all, thanks Jogi Löw! My appreciation for all the fan support could not be greater. You guys have been amazing! You always kept the faith. You just never wavered, I could always rely on you. This connection has been so important for me. As I leave the Mannschaft, this is what I’ll miss the most: the closeness with the fans. For all and everything: Thank You! 🙏🏻❤️ For the German team, my best wishes. Let’s defend this great title in 2018 and keep this marvelous trophy. Starting today, I’ll keep my fingers crossed – as one more fan of the Mannschaft. Take care. It’s been an honor. your number 10 Poldi 🏆⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ #thanks
The veteran attacker was the third highest goal scorer in German history, and is the second Germany player to retire following Man United’s Bastian Schweinsteiger’s announcement in late July.