Jens Lehmann announced Friday he has decided to quit as German national football team goalkeeper, dpa reported.
The 38-year-old, speaking after a talk with national team coach Joachim Loew and goalkeeping coach Andreas Koepke, said there had been agreement that now was a good time to go.
With the 2010 World Cup preparations beginning, it was time for the German squad to make a new start for the South African-hosted tournament.
Lehmann said could not guarantee still to be playing at top level once his year-long contract with VfL Stuttgart ran out next summer. Lehmann joined Stuttgart from Arsenal, London, late last season.
Lehmann, whose career was long overshadowed by his predecessor Oliver Kahn, played 61 times for Germany once he got his chance as national side No 1 keeper in the 2006 World Cup.
Fans will remember him particularly for his penalty shootout heroics in the 2006 World Cup quarter-final against Argentina, which helped his side advance.
"I thanked Jens for his great performances," Loew said Friday. "His name will always be linked with the shootout against Argentina, but also with his performance in Euro 2008", when Germany advanced to the final, to be beaten by Spain.
"Particularly impressive have been Jans's leadership qualities. I've got to known only few players so far who have managed to put their experience to such positive and potent use and steer everything toward success."