Mertesacker reveals reasons for international retirement

The Arsenal defender today called time on playing for Germany, and mentioned a couple of factors behind his decision.

Talk about going out at the top! Per Mertesacker played 104 times for his country, and in his very last game for Germany he won the World Cup final.

His retirement may come as something of a shock considering he is just 29-years-old, but for Arsenal fans, it couldn't be better news, with the former Werder Bremen player emphasising that he is determined to bring more silverware to the Londoners.

The club won their first trophies in several years earlier on in the year, becoming FA Cup champions and then emerging victorious from the Community Shield match with Manchester City last weekend.

"The main thing for me was that I wanted to be able to decide when my international career would end after ten years myself," the big German said in Suddeutschen.

"I now want to win the Premier League title with Arsenal and make an impact in the Champions League.

"There is no reason to fear the future. Young players will come through," Mertesacker added when discussing the national team's future. "Germany are in better shape than ever before."

Mertesacker played for Germany for 10 years, and is now looking forward to adding to his 123 appearances at Arsenal, having joined from Werder Bremen in 2011 for around £8 million. 

It isn't just a desire to continue playing his best football for Arsenal that saw Mertesacker quit the national team though, another point he mentioned was that already, so soon after becoming a world champion, he found it easy to be distracted by things in everyday life, not least the birth of his second child with wife Ulrike Stange.

"When you're up at 6am with a crying baby, the World Cup title is as far away as the moon from the earth," the defender joked.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch