Podol­ski’s in­ter­na­tional ca­reer ends

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

GER­MANY’S World Cup win­ner Lukas Podol­ski an­nounced his re­tire­ment from in­ter­na­tional foot­ball yes­ter­day, bring­ing to an end a glit­ter­ing 12-year ca­reer.

Podol­ski re­tires as Ger­many’s third high­est capped player with 129 ap­pear­ances, be­hind only Lothar Matthaeus and Miroslav Klose, hav­ing scored 48 goals.

“Every­thing has its time - and my time with the DFB (the Ger­man Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion) is over,” Podol­ski said in a state­ment on his In­sta­gram ac­count.

The 31-year-old said he has in­formed coach Joachim Loew of his de­ci­sion.

“I’m ded­i­cat­ing my­self more to other things, mainly my fam­ily,” he ex­plained.

“The na­tional team has al­ways been in my heart, and they al­ways will be, but I felt after the Eu­ros and the va­ca­tion that my fo­cus has shifted.”

Podol­ski, who cur­rently plays for Galatasaray, was an un­used sub­sti­tute in the 2014 World Cup fi­nal when Ger­many edged Ar­gentina in ex­tra-time to claim a fourth ti­tle.

He made one brief sub­sti­tute ap­pear­ance at his sev­enth ma­jor tour­na­ment as Ger­many reached the semi­fi­nals of Euro 2016, where they were de­feated by France.

He made his Ger­many de­but as a teenager in 2004 de­spite in­ter­est from Poland, the land of his birth, and was voted best young player of the 2006 World Cup on home soil.

“From a two-year-old Pol­ish boy who came to Ger­many with a ball un­der his arm to a world cham­pion,” he added. “That’s more than I have ever dreamed about. “12 years, 129 matches. It was amaz­ing! It was great! It was an hon­our to be part of Ger­many.”

Mean­while, Ar­se­nal goal­keeper Petr Cech’s day went from bad to worse as he con­ceded four goals in a 4-3 de­feat by Liver­pool on Sun­day be­fore crash­ing his car into a pil­lar.

The for­mer Czech Re­pub­lic in­ter­na­tional, 34, was beaten four times at the Emi­rates Sta­dium as Jur­gen Klopp’s Liver­pool came from be­hind to con­demn Ar­se­nal to de­feat in their open­ing Premier League game. — Reuters.

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