Ger­many to hon­our Sch­weini, Podol­ski

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

BAS­TIAN Sch­we­in­steiger will play one last game for Ger­many at the end of Au­gust, it was an­nounced yes­ter­day, 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.”

— AFP

Lukas Podol­ski and Bas­tian Sch­we­in­steiger

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