Bastian Schweinsteiger has retired from the German national team, marking the end of a glittering international football career.
The 31-year-old midfielder was an instrumental player for Germany when they won the World Cup in 2014, and earned 120 caps for his nation – scoring 24 goals.
“In 120 international matches I was able to play for my country and experience moments that were indescribably beautiful and successful,” he wrote in a statement, explaining that having won the World Cup he sees no reason to carry on.
“We succeeded, historically and emotionally, in doing something that cannot be repeated in my career. It is therefore right and proper to call it quits now, and to wish the team for the qualification and the 2018 World Cup the best.”
He was made captain of Die Mannschaft following Philipp Lahm’s international retirement after the 2014 World Cup tournament – but his own retirement has come just two years later.
As well as the 2014 World Cup victory, he was also part of the Germany squad which finished third at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, and which finished runner-up to Spain at Euro 2008.
He was named in the FIFA World Cup Dream Team in 2010.
Further changes are highly likely in “Schweini’s” life: he married girlfriend Ana Ivanovic two weeks ago, and is strongly rumoured to be leaving Manchester United this summer.
And the fact that he no longer has to worry about fighting for an international spot means many of the most lucrative – but professionally less-demanding – opportunities will now be open to him: the MLS or Chinese Super League would pay enormous money for a star of his ilk.