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Mario Gomez retires from Germany duty at age 33

Manuel Neuer insists despite the stressing nature of Germany's World Cup exit, the playing group must move on.

Mario Gomez has announced his retirement from international football but has not ruled out a return for the Euro 2020 if "the head coach is in desperate need for players."

Gomez, who scored 31 goals in 78 appearances for Germany, announced his decision through a statement on Facebook.

"My international career was not always easy and I was not always successful, but the experience has been wonderful," Gomez said. "It is now time for me to retire from the team and allow the group of young players coming through to have the opportunity to prove themselves and fulfil their dreams."

A member of five tournament squads since 2008, Gomez was not named in the 2014 World Cup squad following an injury-plagued season at Fiorentina.

Although he returned to the team for the Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup in Russia, his biggest achievement with the national team remains a second-place finish in his first tournament, the Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland.

Only five of the Stuttgart striker's 31 international goals came at a European Championship and none of them in seven appearances at a World Cup.

Regardless, Gomez said he was able to fulfil himself "a huge dream" by playing the tournament in Russia this summer "even though our performance and the dismal exit after the group stages deeply disappointed all of us."

Turning 35 only two days before the final of the 2020 European Championship, the former Bayern Munich player left the door open on his return if called upon by the Bundestrainer.

"I will only come back in the unlikely situation that the head coach is in desperate need for players for the European Championships in two years and I feel fit enough to join the team and help," he said.

Gomez becomes the second player to retire from the Germany team in the aftermath of the 2018 World Cup. Previously, midfielder Mesut Ozil announced his controversial withdrawal from the Nationalmannschaft.

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