London: Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger announced his retirement from international football on Friday, bringing to an end a glittering career that ended in disappointment with a semifinal exit at Euro 2016 in France.
"It wasn't to be and I have to accept it," the 31-year-old said in a statement on his verified Twitter account (@BSchweinsteiger).
"The historic and emotional high was winning the World Cup in 2014," the Manchester United player added.
Schweinsteiger was vice-captain of the national team when Germany edged Argentina in extra-time to claim a fourth World Cup title and took over as captain when his then Bayern Munich team mate Philipp Lahm stood down after the 2014 tournament.
His seventh major tournament saw him lead Germany to the last four of the European Championships earlier this month but the 2-0 defeat to hosts France proved to be his 120th and last appearance.
His first call-up came as a 19-year-old in June 2004 and a year later, he scored the first of 24 international goals.
"I was able to turn out 120 times for my country and experience moments which were indescribably beautiful and successful," he tweeted.
"It is only right and sensible to finish now and wish the team all the best in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup."
After playing for two junior clubs the player known universally as "Schweini" joined Bayern in 1998 as a teenager.
He played 500 matches for the most successful club in Germany, winning eight Bundesliga titles and the 2013 Champions League before joining Manchester United two years later.
His first season at Old Trafford was beset by poor form and regular injuries, and retiring from international duty may have been one way of attempting to persuade new United manager Jose Mourinho of his determination to seal a regular place.
The announcement came on the day that British media reported Schweinsteiger would be sold if Mourinho succeeded in signing French midfielder Paul Pogba from Juventus. - Reuters
* Born Aug. 1, 1984 in Kolbermoor, Bavaria.
* Makes international debut in June 2004 in a 2-0 defeat by Hungary in Kaiserslautern.
* Endures a disappointing debut in a major tournament, as Germany are eliminated in the group stage of Euro 2004.
* Stars for Germany as Juergen Klinsmann's side reach the 2006 World Cup semifinals on home soil, but lose to eventual winners Italy after extra time.
* Scores twice in a 3-1 World Cup playoff win over Portugal to help Germany finish third in Stuttgart.
* Suffers more disappointment as Germany lose 1-0 to Spain in the Euro 2008 final.
* Loses out to Spain again in 2010 World Cup in South Africa, as Carles Puyol's header secures a 1-0 victory in the semifinal.
* Germany are eliminated by Italy in the last four of Euro 2012.
* Schweinsteiger ends his long wait for a major international trophy two years later in Brazil, after Germany beat Argentina 1-0 in the World Cup final.
* Following the international retirement of Bayern team mate Philipp Lahm, Schweinsteiger takes over as Germany captain.
* Joins Premier League side Manchester United after spending 13 seasons with German champions Bayern Munich, where he made 500 appearances, winning eight Bundesliga titles and the 2013 Champions League crown.
* Has an injury disrupted first season with United, but was selected by Germany manager Joachim Loew for the 2016 European Championship, his seventh major tournament.
* Played five games in Euro 2016 as Germany reach the semi-finals where they lose 2-0 to hosts France.
* Announces retirement from international football, after making 120 appearances for his country, with a record of 81 wins and 20 defeats. He scored 24 goals for Germany. - Reuters