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Mertesacker retires from international duty with Germany

ESPN staff
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Per Mertesacker has followed in the footsteps of Philipp Lahm and Miroslav Klose © Getty Images
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Per Mertesacker has become the third member of Germany's World Cup-winning squad to retire from international football.

The Arsenal defender, 29, has called time on his career a month after lifting the World Cup in Brazil, following in the footsteps of Philipp Lahm and Miroslav Klose.

"First and foremost it was about me, after a 10-year career in the team, being able to say when the chapter ended," Mertesacker said.

Since making his debut against Iran in 2004, Mertesacker has been a mainstay in the Germany defence - winning 104 caps and playing at five major tournaments.

Only seven players - Lothar Matthaus, Klose, Lukas Podolski, Lahm, Jurgen Klinsmann, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Jurgen Kohler - have played for Germany more times than Mertesacker.

The 6ft 6in centre-back will now be free to focus on his club career with Arsenal, alongside former international team-mates Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski.

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