Schweinsteiger lauded by Germany's finest as he retires from internationals

Stars past and present from the Germany national team have thanked Bastian Schweinsteiger for 12 years of service after the Manchester United midfielder announced his retirement from international football.

Schweinsteiger, 31, was capped 120 times for his country and inherited the Germany captaincy from former Bayern Munich teammate Philipp Lahm in 2014.

The midfielder also made 38 appearances in seven major international tournaments, reach at least the semi-finals in every European Championship or World Cup since 2006.

"With Bastian Schweinsteiger, one of the true greats is leaving the national team," Reinhard Grindel, 54, president of the German FA, said. "Unforgotten and forever tied to his name will be the 2014 World Cup final in Rio, where he showed all his virtues: high individual class and absolute determination."

Germany coach Joachim Low also thanked the Manchester United midfielder.

"I say thanks for 12 years of trusting cooperation on sporting and human levels," Low said. "At all times I had the feeling that he gave his full effort for the team and wholly identified with our aims and values. As a coach I benefited a lot from him."

Oliver Bierhoff, 48, who won the European Championship with Germany in 1996, thanked the defensive midfielder for his part in Germany's success over the past decade.

"After a disappointing Euro in 2004, Schweinsteiger significantly helped shaping the rise of the German national team," Bierhoff said. "He will be missed as a player and human being, but we respect his decision and wish him all the best for his future endeavours."

Meanwhile other Germany internationals expressed their gratitude toward their former captain on Twitter.

"Thanks for 120 international caps with @DFB_Team and many great and shared hours," former Bayern and national team colleague Thomas Muller wrote.

"It was an honour to be together on the pitch with you, Bastian Schweinsteiger," Schalke captain Benedikt Howedes tweeted.