Tributes have been pouring in for Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker following his decision to retire from international duty for Germany.
The Arsenal star was part of the Germany squad that won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil earlier this summer.
Since making his debut for Die Mannschaft in 2004, Mertesacker played in 104 matches and in five major tournaments for his country, scoring four goals in the process.
Although Mertesacker is not often considered by football pundits as one of the best central defenders in the game, his importance for Germany over the past 10 or so years cannot be undermined.
Which is perhaps why Bayern Munich attacker Mario Gotze, who has been playing for Germany for the last four years, publicly hailed the Arsenal star.
The 22-year-old former Borussia Dortmund star, who joined Bayern last summer for a transfer fee of €37 million (£31.5m), took to social networking site Twitter on Saturday to post the following photo and message:
Mertesacker is the third member of Germany’s World Cup-winning squad to retire from international duty, after Philipp Lahm and Miroslav Klose.