Per Mertesacker becomes the third German to retire from the national side following Germany's World Cup triumph last month, joining Philip Lahm and Miroslav Klose. Mertesacker, 29, has explained the decision, with the World Cup a perfect time for Mertesacker to focus solely on Arsenal. With 104 caps, Mertesacker is the 8th most capped player in German history, and the third most capped defender behind Jurgen Kohler and Lahm. Mertesacker made his debut for the national side in 2004, and has been an ever-regular since, taking part in three World Cups and two European Championships.
This is also good news for Arsenal. Mertesacker has not been injured on international duty during his tenure at Arsenal, but following a long 2013-14 campaign, more games always made it more likely for the big centre-half to get injured. Now Arsenal have one less player to worry about on international duty, and it means Mertesacker can get a well-deserved break now and again, lessening the potential for injury.