Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger announces international retirement

Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger has announced his retirement from international football.

Manchester United midfielder Schweinsteiger, who was part of the 2014 World Cup-winning side, said after Euro 2016 that he would decide on his future with the national side.

The 31-year-old former Bayern Munich star confirmed on social media on Friday that he has told coach Joachim Low that he has decided to call time on an international career in which he had 120 caps.

In a message to Germany fans, he wrote: "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. 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."

Schweinsteiger was included in the squad for Euro 2016 despite concerns over his fitness and made four substitute appearances before starting in the semifinal defeat to France, when his handball led to the host nation taking the lead through an Antoine Griezmann penalty.

He added, "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!'"

Schweinsteiger, who has been linked with a move away from United this summer, featured for Germany at the European Championships in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 as well as the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups.

He made his Germany debut in June 2004, and his 38 appearances at major international tournaments stands as the world record.

He made 20 World Cup and 18 European Championship appearances, with his last coming in the Euro 2016 semifinal loss to France. That appearance saw him overtake former Germany teammate Miroslav Klose, who had played in 37 games at major tournaments.

Germany's finest have lauded Schweinsteiger's impact on the game since the announcement, with his teammates and manager among those to have thanked the midfielder for his contribution over the last decade.