Philipp Lahm has revealed he planned his international retirement long before lifting the World Cup with Germany in Brazil.
The 30-year-old stunned the world of football by announcing his decision to quit the national side after the tournament, with Euro 2014 just two years away.
But the Bayern Munich man is convinced now is the right to walk away with Germany ready to bring through a new production line of talent.
"I slowly but surely came to the decision in the course of last season," he told FIFA.com. "I knew I would retire from international football after the World Cup. I’m happy and grateful that the end of my career in the national team coincides with winning the World Cup in Brazil. For me personally it’s simply the right time to stop.
"The team has boundless ability, the blend is good, and talented newcomers are waiting in the wings."
Lahm operated as both a defensive midfielder and a right back during the tournament but refuted the suggestion he was the perfect footballer, noting his weakness on his left-hand side.
"I can reveal that as a left back I had difficulty defending well-struck crosses with my left foot," he said. "So I don’t play left back any more. As for my weaknesses as a right back and holding midfielder, I’m definitely not going to reveal anything. It’s up to my opponents to find out."
The Bayern star also gave his thoughts on the progress German football has made in the 10 years leading up to their World Cup success, citing the relationship between the national side and Bundesliga clubs.
"We’ve definitely benefited from considerable investment in youth development in Germany over the last 10 to 15 years," he said. "Every Bundesliga club operates an elite academy, training has become more intense and professional and we have full-time, fully qualified coaches.
"Every German footballing generation has produced good players, but we’ve also caught up tactically in recent years."