Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger on Friday announced his retirement from international duty with immediate effect.
The 31-year-old Manchester United midfielder, who won his 120th and final cap in Germany’s 2-0 defeat to France in the semifinals of Euro 2016, revealed the news on his official Twitter account.
“With Bastian Schweinsteiger, we are saying goodbye to a big name from the national team,” said German Football Association president Reinhard Grindel.
Schweinsteiger retires from die Mannschaft with his Old Trafford future in the balance having reportedly been told by United’s new coach Jose Mourinho that he is one of nine players free to leave the club.
He still has two years left to run on his United contract. A knee injury in January flared up again in March, restricting him to just a handful of matches before he played at the European Championship, netting a goal on his return against Ukraine in Germany’s opening pool game.
The defensive midfielder said now is the right time to retire from the national team ahead of Germany’s first qualifier for the 2018 World Cup against Norway on September 9, four days after a home friendly against Finland.
“I have just told the national head coach (Joachim Loew) to no longer consider me for selection in the future as I would like to retire,” wrote Schweinsteiger.
“I would like to thank the fans, the team, the German Football Association and the coaches. In 120 internationals, I have been allowed to run out for my country and experience moments which were indescribably beautiful and successful.”