Schweinsteiger retires from Germany duty

The Germany captain on Friday announced his retirement from international duty with immediate effect.

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Bastian Schweinsteiger was made Germany captain following the World Cup triumph two years ago.

Bastian Schweinsteiger has retired from international duty after Germany's semifinal elimination at Euro 2016. The Manchester United midfielder made his international debut against Hungary in June 2004 and has since gone on to become an influential member of the international team, earning 120 caps.

Schweinsteiger's crowning moment in a Germany shirt came at the 2014 World Cup when Die Mannschaft was 1-0 victor after extra-time in the final against Argentina in Brazil. However, Germany's failure to build on that success at Euro 2016, where it was beaten in the semifinals by host France, has led to the Manchester United midfielder calling time on his international career.

"Dear fans of the German national team, I have informed the coach that I would like to retire from the national team," Schweinsteiger wrote in a statement posted on social media.

"I give my thanks to the fans, the players, the DFB and the coaches of the German national team. In 120 international matches I was allowed to play for my country and experience moments that were indescribably beautiful and successful.

"Joachim Low knew how much 2016 has meant to me with the European Championship in France because I wanted to win this title.

"It was not meant to be and I have to accept that. With the win of the World Cup 2014 we did something historical and also emotional, which I can't repeat in my career.

"That is why it is right and sensible to now to end my time with the team and I wish the team the very best in qualification for the 2018 World Cup."

Schweinsteiger, who scored 24 goals for Germany, endured several near misses with the national team throughout his career, including losing the final of Euro 2008 to Spain. The 31-year-old was made Germany captain following Philipp Lahm's retirement following the World Cup triumph two years ago.