German captain Philipp Lahm retires from international soccer

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Philipp Lahm exits the international stage with the Cup. (Getty Images)
Philipp Lahm exits the international stage with the Cup. (Getty Images)

Germany's national soccer captain is going out on top.

German defensive back Philipp Lahm, just days after winning the World Cup with his German teammates, has decided to call it a career for the national team. Given that Lahm is only 30, you'd think he would still have some good years in the tank that could last until 2018 and the World Cup in Russia but Lahm had settled on this decision well before going to Brazil.

"I told [German coach} Jogi Löw on Monday already that I am retiring from international football," Lahm said to German newspaper Bild. "The decision developed during last season."

Lahm was one of the essential players of Germany's tremendous showing at the World Cup. Versatile enough to play in the midfield when needed, he was really at home in his defensive back positions. His playing every single minute of the World Cup was no accident. He finished the tournament with two assists in addition to his excellent play and earned a spot on the CBSSports.com World Cup Best XI.

Lahm will continue to play at the club level, where he currently stars for German powerhouse Bayern Munich.

In each of the past three World Cups Lahm has not only been a fixture for the German team but he has not missed a single minute. He took over the captaincy at the South Africa World Cup in 2010 from Michael Ballack. He finished with 113 caps and five goals for the national team including one in the 2006 World Cup on home soil against Costa Rica.

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