Schweinsteiger, Podolski to play in final Germany friendly

Berlin (AFP) – Bastian Schweinsteiger will play one last game for Germany at the end of August, it was announced on Tuesday, despite the exiled Manchester United midfielder confirming his international retirement.

After 120 appearances and having won the 2014 World Cup title with die Mannschaft, the 32-year-old told head coach Joachim Loew at the start of August that he has retired from international football after 12 years in the famous white shirt.

But Schweinsteiger will play one last game for Germany — on August 31 in a friendly against Finland in Moenchengladbach — to allow fans to say goodbye under the slogan “Servus, Basti!” (Bye, Basti!).

The friendly will come as a welcome distraction to Schweinsteiger, who has been banished to United’s reserves by new coach Jose Mourinho and has an uncertain future at Old Trafford.

“That will be a special evening for me, I have a lot to thank the DFB and the fans in Germany for,” Schweinsteiger told the German FA (DFB) website ahead of his Germany swansong.

“I’m really looking forward to the chance to be able to run out for Germany for one last time.”

Lukas Podolski, who announced his retirement on Monday, will also be given a similar farewell, possibly in a Germany friendly away to Italy later in the year, after he has recovered from an ankle injury.

“Basti and Lukas have been huge servants of the national team, the German Football Association (DFB) and German football in general,” said Loew.

“I know that it will mean a lot to both of them to be able to play one last time for Germany.

“That shows how important the team is, and was, to them.”

Both Podolski and Schweinsteiger made their debuts for Germany in June 2004 in a friendly against Hungary.

Podolski, 31, scored 48 goals for Germany in 129 internationals and only Miroslav Klose (71) and Gerd Mueller (68) scored more goals for die Mannschaft.

“It’ll be an honour to play for Germany once more,” said Podolski, who now plays for Galatasaray.

“I’d have liked to have played the game in Moenchengladbach, but my injury won’t allow that.

“I am very grateful to the DFB and the coach for the chance to play another match.”



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