Germany defender Sandra Minnert is to retire from international football after Thursday's UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ qualifier in the Netherlands.
The 34-year-old made her senior international debut in May 1992 against Yugoslavia, and has been capped 146 times, scoring 16 goals – the most recent in Sunday's 3-0 defeat of Belgium that kept up Germany's perfect record in Group 4. In those 15 years, Minnert won two FIFA Women's World Cups, the second in China last month, four UEFA European Women's Championships and a pair of Olympic bronze medals. She also won the inaugural 2001/02 UEFA Women's Cup with 1. FFC Frankfurt, before joining WUSA club Washington Freedom and moving to her current home, SC 07 Bad Neuenahr, in 2004. She will continue to play for them. A street is named after Minnert in her Hessen hometown of Gelnhaar.
Minnert admitted that the strain of international football had taken its toll, specifically on her knees. "I would have liked to play in the 2008 Olympics, but it's just too much," she said. "I have to train much more than the younger players and I want to be able to get up in the morning without too much pain."
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