Bastian Schweinsteiger retires from international football

The 31-year-old made 120 appearances for his country and appeared at 7 major tournaments

Bastian Schweinsteiger

Image: Mike Egerton / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger this afternoon announced his retirement from international football.

The Manchester United midfielder has been part of the national set-up for almost two decades and won the World Cup with Germany in 2014.

He announced the decision on Twitter today, having made 120 appearances for the national side. 

"I just asked the national team coach to not consider me for future call-ups for the German national team, because I want to end my international career," he wrote. "My thanks go out to the fans, the team, the DFB [German FA], and the coaches and staff around the German national team.

"In 120 international matches I was allowed to play for my country and experience moments of incredible joy and success.

"Jogi Low knew how much the Euro 2016 in France meant to me, because I wanted to do everything in my power to win the title, which we haven't been able to bring back to Germany since 1996. It wasn't to be, and I had to accept that.

"By winning the World Cup in 2014, we created something historical and emotional, which cannot be repeated in my career. Which is why drawing a line is now the reasonable and right thing to do. I wish the national team all the best for the qualification and the World Cup in 2018.

"With my decision I leave the national team, which was always a precious family to me. I hope that this connection will stay intact in another form.

"To my fans I want to say: 'It was an honour for me to play for you. Thank you for everything that I could experience with you!'"

Bastian Schweinsteiger lifts the FIFA World Cup trophy in 2014. Image: Victor R. Caivano / AP/Press Association Images

The 31-year-old has appeared at the European Championships in 2004, 2008, 2012 and the latest of which 2016 where he made his final appearance in German colours during a semi-final defeat to France.

He helped guide his national side to victory in 2014 World Cup and appeared at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups as well. His 38 appearances at major tournaments stands as a world record.