Lukas Podolski has announced his retirement from the German national team with immediate effect and manager Joachim Loew has to be on the lookout for a top new international forward once again.
Loew has had the opportunity to manage some of the best players in the world. He has especially been fortunate in terms of forwards since Germany have had the likes of Miroslav Klose, Podolski, and Luca Toni to lead the attack. Klose announced his retirement from international duty after the World Cup 2014. Now, Podolski joins the list after deciding to call at a time following the Euro 2016.
Loew has paid tribute to the former Arsenal striker by saying that he has been one of the best professionals he has seen in his managerial career. Podolski goes out on a high after having lifted the World Cup title with the national team, while also coming close with a runners-up medal in the European Championships. He is amongst the most capped players for the national team with 129 to his name. This is only six short of the record held by Klose, althoughLotharMatthäus leads the way with 150 appearances. Klose is the leading goalscorer with 71 goals while Podolski is not far away with 48.
“I feel like my focus has shifted. My time is over. Nothing can replace the joy, passion and solidarity I experienced with the DFB [German Football Association]. I arrived in Germany as a two-year-old boy with basically only a football under my arm and am now a world champion. That is more than I could ever have dreamt of,” said Podolski after announcing his retirement. “I could always rely on Lukas. He was, and still is, easy-going, but his professionalism and determination are exemplary,” said coach Joachim Loew after learning about the player’s decision.