Phillip Lahm, 30, captained Germany to World Cup glory just a week ago. After doing so, he has kept his promise of deciding to retire right after the tournament. It may seem like he is too young to do so, but after all of the heartbreak in recent tournaments, this was seemingly the perfect time in his career to hang up his international boots.
Lahm recently won two straight Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich in addition to lifting the Champions League title in 2013 — both also as captain. He is known as the best right back in the world due to his versatility — he can lock down attackers, hold the ball and push up to join the attack by swinging in crosses or even being the extra passing option in the final third. Bayern coach Pep Guardiola has even trusted him in the center of midfield due to his vision, strength and knowledge of the position.
By retiring from international soccer, Germany is losing arguably their best right back in history, so they should know that he will be almost impossible to replace. The nation develops brilliant players in every generation, but this man was a gem that they have eagerly relied on for the past 10 years, mainly because of his leadership. He will be sorely missed in the next couple of years.
As for his club, Bayern Munich’s players and coaches alike will be ecstatic that they can now completely depend on him to focus for the team and them only. With international soccer finished, he can now help them win yet more trophies in the league and Europe — something the fans are used to and have no one better to gift them.