World Champion Lukas Podolski has retired from the Germany national team. After 129 caps for Die Mannschaft, “Poldi” announced his decision on Facebook at lunchtime on Monday. DFB.de brings you his statement in full.
With the new season and an international break just around the corner, I wanted to announce something. I have told the Germany manager that I am no longer going to play for the national team. I will now focus on other things, above all my family of course. I am sure they won’t mind me spending more time with them in the future all that much, and it’s something I’m really looking forward to.
It was a difficult decision for me. The national team has always been a matter close to my heart, and it will always remain that way. But after the EUROs and my holiday, I noticed that my focus had shifted. There is a time for everything and my time with the DFB has come to an end.
Saying goodbye is very emotional. I am proud of what I have experienced with the DFB. Nothing can replace the joy, passion and togetherness that my time with the DFB-Team gave me. Going from a two-year-old Polish boy, who practically came to Germany with nothing more than a football under his arm, to a World Champion – it’s more than I could have ever imagined.
I have celebrated major success with Germany on the pitch, but not only that, I have experienced so much off the pitch too, visiting countries and cities all over the world. I have met a lot of great people and found many friends. It’s staggering really.
Thank you to the DFB. Thank you to the team behind the team. Thank you to my teammates. And thank you to the coaches; thank you Rudi Völler, thank you Jürgen Klinsmann, and in particular, thank you Joachim Löw!
The biggest thanks of all goes to you guys though. The fans have always stuck by me, even in difficult times. I can always rely on you, and the connection with you has always been incredibly important to me. Now that I’m stepping aside, that is what I will miss the most: being close to you. I hope that I have been able to give back a bit of what you gave to me. Thank you for everything! I wish the national team success in the future. Let’s bring the trophy home to Germany in 2018 too! I will be cheering the boys on like any other huge fan of this team.
It has been an honour. All the best!
Your number 10, Poldi