Chelsea midfielder Melanie Leupolz has decided to call time on her career with the German national team, announcing her international retirement yesterday as Chelsea continue preparations for the new WSL season set to start in three weeks.
Leupolz had made 79 appearances for her country, including at this summer’s World Cup as well as for their gold medal-winning campaign at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“The past months have been very intense in the club and the national team and have challenged me as a professional footballer and mother. It was important for me to make my way back into the DFB team after giving birth, and I am very proud to have played another World Cup for my country. The fact that I was able to experience this together with my son made the experience even more valuable for me.
“At the same time, however, I realised that the abundance of stress is energy-sapping. I am very proud of what I have achieved in the national team. Now it’s time to put the full focus on my club Chelsea, because I have the ambition to live up to the high level there and to achieve all sporting goals with my team with 100 per cent energy.
“I would be happy if I get the chance to say goodbye to the team and the fans once again at an international match. It was a formative and unforgettable time.”
The 29-year-old signed with Chelsea three years ago, but has been restricted to just 30 appearances over the past two seasons due to injuries and then maternity leave. She signed a new long-term contract earlier this year, and hopefully she can now return to being just as impactful as she had been during the 2020-21 season, when we made it all the way to the Women’s Champions League final (in addition to our usual dominance in domestic competitions).