Mertesacker calls time on Germany career

Per Mertesacker wins the World Cup

Per Mertesacker has announced his retirement from international football.

The centre back won the World Cup in his final game for Germany in July - his 104th cap for his country. Mertesacker, who scored four times for Germany, will be 30 in September.

The Arsenal defender follows former international team-mates Philipp Lahm and Miroslav Klose into retirement, and he says it's time for a new generation of talent to take Germany forward.

"I’m still hungry for more titles, but I want to win them with Arsenal"

“Winning the World Cup was the best possible end to 10 years in the national team," said Mertesacker. "I’ve moved aside to let younger players take over.

"We don’t have to fret about the future, we are better equipped than ever before. I’m happy that I’ve been able to play for so long, happy that people have trusted in me.

“I’m still hungry for more titles, but I want to win them with Arsenal – to win the league, perhaps have a go at the Champions League. We’ve got a taste for silverware now, after winning the FA Cup.

“I’m a world champion but you can’t let yourself go because of that," added Mertesacker. "There are new challenges. I’m vice-captain at Arsenal and I know that I have more responsibilities now. I want to achieve big things with the club.

"Having more time off for your legs and your head is not a bad thing in that respect – especially at my old age.”

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