Lukas Podolski

Mario Gomez retires from international duty


Stuttgart striker Mario Gomez has decided to retire from Germany duty shortly after their surprise group stage exit at the World Cup. The 33-year-old managed to feature from the bench in all three of Germany’s games at the tournament but his efforts were not sufficient to help them avoid a shock exit during the group phase.

“For me, a huge dream has come true with the World Cup in Russia. Even if the cut-off and the pathetic departure in the group-round [meant] we all failed. My entire career, I was allowed to play for the German national team. But when I had to watch 2014 [it] hurt, I finally realised how much [I was missing] the team and what a great honour it is for me to [play] for such a team. I wanted to experience these moments, these emotions. As a team and for me! I gave it all!” a statement read on his official Facebook account.

Gomez has struggled with minor injury concerns over the course of his career but he has still made a mark with the national team, bagging 31 goals from 78 appearances. Nevertheless, the veteran would have a sense of disappointment after missing the 2014 World Cup, where Germany were crowned champions after a 24-year wait.

Aside from Gomez, compatriot Mesut Ozil made the surprise decision to retire from international football last month after he cited racism and discrimination being the key reasons behind him stepping down. The 29-year-old has since re-joined Arsenal ahead of the new Premier League campaign and it will be interesting to see how he fares for them after an average 2017/18 campaign. Ozil has been one of the Gunners’ most consistent performers over the past five seasons but the German has been found guilty of disappearing when it comes to games against Europe’s elite.

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