Bastian Schweinsteiger let the tears flow on Wednesday as Germany’s captain made his final appearance for die Mannschaft in their 2-0 friendly win at home to Finland.
Schalke’s Max Meyer and Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil scored Germany’s second-half goals, but the night belonged to Schweinsteiger, who played the first 66 minutes in Moenchengladbach on his 121st – and final – international appearance.
Twelve years since his debut, the 32-year-old announced his retirement at the start of August, but head coach Joachim Loew gave the Manchester United midfielder the chance to skipper his country one last time.
Even before kick-off, with German FA (DFB) president Reinhard Grindel heaping praise on the departing captain during a pre-match presentation, Schweinsteiger struggled to hold back the tears.
He gave up, sobbing openly when the 30 121-strong crowd, which just over half-filled Borussia Park stadium, gave him a standing ovation.
“I didn’t think that would happen,” Schweinsteiger admitted, referring to his tears, when handed a microphone.
“Thank you for coming, it means a lot to me.
“It was a huge honour for me to play for Germany and I just want to say ‘thank you’ for everything.”