Published On: Fri, Aug 19th, 2016

Podolski announces Germany retirement

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Germany‘s golden generation of active decorated footballers is one fewer in number after Galatasaray striker Lukas Podolski announced his retirement from international football Monday.

Podolski, 31, joins Die Mannschaft mates Philipp Lahm, Miroslav Klose, Per Mertesacker, and Bastian Schweinsteiger as members of the 2014 World Cup-winning squad who have announced the end of their international days.

His last action for Germany was during Euro 2016, where he played a bit part, making just one 18-minute substitute appearance in a 3-0 group-stage victory over Slovakia.

The social media savant announced the news on Instagram, attaching a lengthy message with a collage of his days in a Germany kit.

“For me this is (a) very emotional farewell,” the statement reads. “I am proud of what I experienced with the DFB. …

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

A photo posted by Lukas Podolski (@poldi_official) on Aug 15, 2016 at 4:14am PDT

"Thanks to the team behind the team! Thanks to my teammates. And thank you coach. Thanks Rudi Voller. Thanks Jurgen Klinsmann, and most of all, thanks Joachim Low."

Germany’s all-time third-best cap-winner and goal-scorer, Podolski retires having bagged 48 goals in 129 appearances for his country, pairing one World Cup victory with two third-place finishes and a finals defeat in the 2008 European Championships.

Currently plying his trade in Turkey with Istanbul giant Galatasaray, Podolski emerged as a continental star playing with FC Koln, which became his de facto hometown club after he and his family moved from Poland when he was 2.

Podolski then made the switch to Bayern Munich before returning to Koln ahead of moves to Arsenal, Inter Milan, and finally Turkey, where he has scored 13 times in 30 appearances.

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