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BERLIN---World Cup-winning captain
Philipp Lahm has retired from playing
The 30-year-old Lahm informed Ger-
man Football Federation (DFB) president
Wolfgang Niersbach of his decision in a
telephone call yesterday.
Lahm played 113 games for Germany,
with his debut in a 2-1 victory over Croa-
tia on February 18, 2004. He started
every game, won 83, and lost just 13.
"I could tell very early in the conver-
sation that it was futile to try to talk him
out of his decision," Niersbach said. "He
wasn t only an outstanding player in 10
years with the national team, but always
an absolute role model. I thanked him
for everything he delivered for the DFB."
Lahm said he decided over the course
of the past season to retire after the
World Cup, and that he informed Ger-
many coach Joachim Loew on Monday,
he said in a statement on the DFB web-
site. Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola
once described Lahm as "the most intel-
ligent player I ve ever trained," and the
Spanish coach surprised many by playing
the defender in midfield last season.
Lahm, however, rose to the challenge
and even started the World Cup in mid-
field for Germany, before Shkodran
Mustafi s injury meant he reverted to
right back for the remainder of the tour-
"I am happy and thankful that my
national team career ended with the
World Cup win in Brazil," Lahm said.
"I have been on holiday for three days
and have peace and time to come to
terms with the end of my national team
career. Many thanks for a wonderful
Lahm told Sport Bild magazine he was
leaving the team in "full harmony."
"Ten years in the national team, three
years for Bayern - Philipp it was a pleas-
ure to play in one team with you," Ger-
many forward Lukas Podolski tweeted.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter said in
another tweet: "Philipp Lahm is a model
pro & his brilliant career will continue
after international retirement. Some way
to bow out!"
Chancellor Angela Merkel paid tribute
to the player who took over as captain
for the 2010 World Cup, when Michael
Ballack dropped out through injury.
"I want to take the opportunity to
express my great respect for what he
has done for the national team," Merkel
Former Germany player and coach
Rudi Voeller said the decision was "def-
initely a surprise for many. Philipp Lahm
is the type of player you would have
expected at the next World Cup with
his playing ability and fitness."
Lahm recently extended his contract
with Bundesliga champion Bayern to
Munich defender Holger
Badstuber made his
from injury in his side's
3-0 friendly win over a
fan club team yesterday.
Badstuber tore the cru-
ciate ligament in his right
knee in a 1-1 draw with
Borussia Dortmund on
December 1, 2012, and
then suffered a second tear
as he made his comeback.
Badstuber led Bayern
out as captain in the game
against Red Baroons Diet-
mannsried in his Mem-
mingen birthplace, and
completed 58 minutes of
the side s first game of the
new season. (AP)
ZURICH---Fifa has lifted Nigeria s suspension from
international competition after the country s football
leaders were reinstated.
After Nigeria s second-round elimination at the
World Cup, the country s government issued a legal
order for the sports ministry to appoint new federation
leaders. Fifa rules protect its 209 member federations
from influence by third parties, including politicians.
But Fifa said yesterday that court proceedings and
an order preventing the Nigeria Football Federation
from operating had been withdrawn.
Fifa said in a statement that as the "legitimate bodies
(have been) reinstalled, Fifa has decided to lift the sus-
Lahm retires from
Germany team captain Philipp Lahm as he raises the
trophy after the World Cup final football match
between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana
Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on July 13. Germany won
the match 1-0 to win its fourth World Cup title.
Yesterday, Lahm stepped down from the national
team. AP PHOTO
Badstuber back from injury
FIFA lifts Nigeria Football
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