Former Arsenal forward, Lukas Podolski, has announced his retirement from International Football on Monday. The 31-year old was a part of Germany's Euro 2016 team this summer but only got limited playing time.
Podolski took to his social media pages to announce his retirement. The Galatasaray player thanked the fans for the support and also said that it was a big honour to be a part of the Germany National Team.
"I have told the national team coach that effective immediately, I will no longer be available to play for the national team," the former Bayern Munich player said. He added that at the age of 31 he would like to spend more time with family.
Podolski is Germany's third most capped player with 129 appearances and fourth best goal scorer with 48 goals. The half Polish player has featured for Germany U-17, Germany U-18, Germany U-19 and Germany U-21 before getting a call up from the senior team.
Podolski made his international debut on 6th June 2004 at the age of 19 under Rudi Völler. In the game played against Hungary, he came on as a late substitute. Poland had the chance to acquire the services of Podolski in 2003 but their then manager Pawel Janas refused to select him to the squad claiming that Poland already had good strikers.
Podolski's impressive performances in 2003/04 season also granted him a call-up to Germany's Euro 2004 squad, but he made only one appearance in the whole tournament.
The left footed striker was paired with Miroslav Klose in Germany's starting Line-Up for the World Cup 2006. Podolski scored his first World Cup goal in a group stage match against Ecuador and scored both the goals for Germany in their 2-0 win against Sweden in the round of 16.
He became the first player since 1962 to score two goals in the first 12 minutes of a World Cup match and only the third player ever to accomplish the feat. The former Gunner helped his team finish third in the tournament.
While his teammate Miroslav Klose won the Golden Boot, he finished as the second top scorer along with other players like Ronaldo, Thierry Henry, Fernando Torres, David Villa, Maxi Rodriguez, German Crespo and Zinedine Zidane. Podolski was also named as the World Cup's Best Young Player.
Podolski was a key player for Germany in the Euro 2008 qualifiers. He scored both the goals for Germany in their first game of the tournament against the forward's birth place, Poland. The forward did not celebrate any of his goals that day.
In their next group stage match, Podolski scored Germany's only goal in their 2-1 lose to Croatia. Germany could only end up as the runners up in the tournament but Podolski had a great tournament and was named as one of the best players of the Euro 2008.
Podolski made his 100th appearance for Germany in their third group stage match of the Euro 2012. The German scored was able to score a goal that day to mark the milestone.
The former Cologne man was part of Germany's World Cup-winning team in 2014. He made a few appearances but didn't complete the whole 90 minutes in any of the games.
Podolski was also a part of Germany's Euro 2016 squad but was rarely used by the manager, Joachim Low.
The 31-year-old's final years with Germany may not have been good, but it’s fair to say Podolski had an excellent international career. He was instrumental for the Die Mannschaft in many of the major tournaments.
German stars took to Twitter to congratulate the striker: