PHOTO: Arsenal star Per Mertesacker hails his compatriot Philipp Lahm

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Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker says that it has been ‘an honour’ to play alongside Philipp Lahm for Germany.

Philipp Lahm announced his retirement from international football on Friday, just days after leading Germany to 2014 World Cup glory.

The 30-year-old defender made his debut for Die Mannschaft back in February 2004 and went on to make 113 appearances for his country, scoring five goals in the process.

One of the best right-backs in the world and probably the most consistent of his generation, Lahm wore the captain’s armband as Germany won the World Cup for the fourth time in history in Brazil.

Per Mertesacker made his debut for Germany in the same year as the Bayern Munich star and played his part in his country’s success in South America this summer.

The Arsenal centre-back took to social networking site Twitter to hail Bayern Munich defender Lahm for an illustrious international career.

Mertesacker himself has been a regular for Germany over the past 10 or so years and has made 104 appearances, but he is not rated as highly as Lahm or some of his fellow countrymen.

However, the 29-year-old, who joined Arsenal from Werder Bremen in the summer of 2011, is a very good defender, which is why he remains an important part of the Gunners under manager Arsene Wenger.

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