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World Cup winner Lahm retires from international duty

ESPN staff
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Philipp Lahm won nine trophies between August 2012 and Germany's World Cup win in Brazil © Getty Images
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Germany captain Philipp Lahm is to retire from international football with immediate effect, according to Germany's Bild newspaper.

Lahm, who lifted the World Cup trophy aloft last Sunday, is set to bow out on a high with the Bild saying he has already informed his Germany team-mates and coach Joachim Loew of his decision.

The World Cup was the ninth trophy Lahm had lifted into the air in just two years having previously won two Bundesliga titles, two German Cups, the UEFA Super Cup, the German Supercup, the Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup since August 2012.

Lahm was installed as Germany captain for the 2010 World Cup, when Michael Ballack missed out due to injury. He was originally only meant to wear the captain's armband on a temporary basis, but Ballack failed to force his way back into the national team and Lahm has led his country since.

Sunday's World Cup triumph was the crowning moment of the 30 year old's career, and seemingly the right time for him to bring an end to his days with the national team. Lahm made his Germany debut on February 18, 2004, against Croatia. He was capped a total of 113 times and scored five goals.

"Maybe it's going to take a few days, maybe a few weeks or months or maybe it will take a few years for the real meaning of this title to sink in," Lahm told Germany's Stern magazine after returning home from Brazil on Tuesday. "This is a gift; I can hardly sum it up in words.

"If ever I am named in the same breathe as other great captains, then that will make me proud, but that's still a long way away."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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