Stuttgart striker Mario Gomez has announced he has officially retired from international duty with Germany.
Stuttgart striker Mario Gomez has announced he has officially retired from international duty with Germany, according to German publication Kicker.
The 33-year-old forward made his announcement in a lengthy statement on his personal Facebook account, following a disappointing early World Cup exit in Russia this summer.
He said: “For me, a huge dream has come true with the World Cup in Russia. Even if the cut-off and the pathetic departure in the group-round [meant] we all failed.
“My entire career, I was allowed to play for the German national team. But when I had to watch 2014 [it] hurt, I finally realised how much [I was missing] the team and what a great honour it is for me to [play] for such a team.
“I wanted to experience these moments, these emotions. As a team and for me! I gave it all!"
Gomez made 78 senior international appearances for Germany since making his debut in February 2007 against Switzerland, and scored 31 goals during his time playing for Die Mannschaft.
He added: “With the team in 2016 and the 2018 World Cup, I was allowed to participate in two other big tournaments. I feel the greatest gratitude for this, even if the expectations of the last tournament could not be met.
“You can't always go out as a winner. My time in the national team was not always easy, not always successful and yet beautiful!
“I've met a lot of people with whom I will be very connected. Now it's time to make room and give the many young boys the opportunity to fulfil their dream, prove themselves, collect experiences and reach the best for Germany.”
Gomez, now having retired from international duty, is turning his full attention back to his domestic football, having signed a deal through to 2020 with Stuttgart after his January move to the club.
Since joining the side, he has scored eight goals in 16 league appearances and is keen to continue that impressive form in the upcoming season.
The former Bayern Munich striker believes he still has plenty to offer his club, joking that much like Cristiano Ronaldo he feels he still has a biological age of 23.
Midfielder Mesut Ozil also quit international duty with Germany following this summer, though unlike Gomez the Arsenal player's reasoning has been due to off-the-field issues.