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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Per Mertesacker quits Germany duty

Per Mertesacker has become the third member of Germany's 2014 World Cup-winning squad to retire from international football.

The Arsenal defender, 29, has called time on his career with the Nationalmannschaft a month after lifting the World Cup in Brazil, following in the footsteps of Philipp Lahm and Miroslav Klose.

MOST-CAPPED GERMANY PLAYERS

1) Lothar Matthaus - 150 (1980-2000) 

2) Miroslav Klose -137 (2001-2014)  

3) Lukas Podolski - 116 (2004-present) 

4) Philipp Lahm - 113 (2004-2014) 

5) Jürgen Klinsmann - 108 (1987-1998)  

6) Bastian Schweinsteiger - 108 (2004-present)

7 Jürgen Kohler - 105 (1986-1998) 

8) PER MERTESACKER - 104 (2004-2014) 

"First and foremost it was about me, after a 10-year career in the team, being able to say when the chapter ended," Mertesacker said.  

Since making his debut against Iran in 2004, Mertesacker has been a mainstay in the Germany defence -- winning 104 caps and playing at five major tournaments. 

Per Mertesacker won 104 caps for Germany

Only seven players -- Lothar Matthaus, Klose, Lukas Podolski, Lahm, Jurgen Klinsmann, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Jurgen Kohler -- have played for Germany more times than Mertesacker. 

The 6ft 6in centre-back will now be free to focus on his club career with Arsenal, alongside former international teammates. Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski.

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