Lukas Podolski retires from Germany duty

UEFA.com looks at some impressive figures and five memorable moments from Lukas Podolski's Germany career after the forward announced his international retirement.

Lukas Podolski pictured after his final appearance for Germany, at UEFA EURO 2016
Lukas Podolski pictured after his final appearance for Germany, at UEFA EURO 2016 ©Getty Images

Lukas Podolski has announced that he will not play for Germany again, following his good friend Bastian Schweinsteiger into international retirement 39 days after the world champions exited UEFA EURO 2016.

"I feel like my focus has shifted," said 'Prince Poldi'. "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."

Germany's most-capped players
Lothar Matthäus, 150 caps
Miroslav Klose, 137
Lukas Podolski, 129

Highlights: Podolski's final game for Germany
Highlights: Podolski's final game for Germany

Germany's all-time leading scorers
Miroslav Klose, 71 goals
Gerd Müller, 68
Lukas Podolski, 48

Podolski, 31, made his senior international debut under Rudi Völler in June 2004 and went on to score 48 goals in 129 appearances. He took part in seven major tournaments, his final outing coming as a substitute in the UEFA EURO 2016 win against Slovakia.

"I could always rely on Lukas," said coach Joachim Löw. "He was, and still is, easy-going, but his professionalism and determination are exemplary. We go back a long way and became world champions together in Brazil. I can only thank him for his loyalty, his dedication and the joy he always brought to our group."

Podolski in his Germany U17 days
Podolski in his Germany U17 days©Getty Images

Podolski's top five moments for Germany
Rising star
The Polish-born Podolski first featured in a Germany shirt at Under-17 level before receiving a late call-up to the UEFA EURO 2004 squad. His first goals came later that year, against Thailand, and he thrilled fans with fine performances at the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup, registering three times in four games.

Best Young Player at 2006 FIFA World Cup
During the 'Summer Tale' that saw Germany reach the semi-finals on home soil, Podolski was part of a formidable forward line alongside Miroslav Klose. He scored three goals and was named the tournament's best young player ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Double against Poland
Germany's opening game at UEFA EURO 2008 was a memorable one for Podolski. Coming up against his country of birth, the forward scored both goals in a 2-0 victory. "Of course I had mixed emotions," he said after the game. "A large part of my family lives in Poland so this was a very important moment for me."

Germany coach Joachim Löw and Podolski
Germany coach Joachim Löw and Podolski©Getty Images

Youngest German to reach 100 caps
Podolski was only 27 years and 13 days when he made his 100th appearance for Germany, during UEFA EURO 2012. He marked the occasion with a goal against Denmark. "When I started in 2004 I never thought I would get to this moment," he said. "It's simply incredible."

Brazil dream
The 'Prince', as they call him in his beloved home town of Cologne, struggled to make the team in the latter years of his international career but Löw never doubted his value to the squad. Podolski crowned his career with the ultimate title – the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski after winning the World Cup in 2014
Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski after winning the World Cup in 2014©AFP/Getty Images
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