Mertesacker bows out at the top
Per Mertesacker has become the third member of Germany's World Cup-winning team to retire from international football.
The Arsenal defender told the Suddeutsche Zeitung that last month's World Cup final, in which Germany beat Argentina 1-0, was the last match he will play for his country.
In an interview to be published in the newspaper on Saturday, Mertesacker explains that he "wanted to be the one to determine the end of this chapter" after 10 years in the national team.
"The World Cup in Brazil was a golden conclusion," Mertesacker said.
Mertesacker follows Philipp Lahm and Miroslav Klose, who have also stepped down from the international stage since being crowned world champions.
The 29-year-old nevertheless still has many years of his career to go, and he has now set his sights on winning silverware with the Gunners.
"I want to win the league with Arsenal and also take a shot at the Champions League," he said, adding that he has no concerns about Germany coach Joachim Low finding a suitable replacement at the heart of defence.
"Young players are going to come through. There's no reason for us to have any fears. We have a stronger squad now than ever before."
Mertesacker says he will never forget his time with the national team, particularly not the two months spent in Brazil over the summer.
"They were the eight best weeks of our lives," he said.
The former Hannover and Werder Bremen defender made 103 appearances for Germany, scoring four goals.
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