Germany will pay tribute to the international careers of former captain Bastian Schweinsteiger and forward Lukas Podolski with farewell matches in their honour.
After 120 and 129 appearances for their country respectively, 2014 World Cup winners Schweinsteiger and Podolski have called time on playing at the highest level in the aftermath of Euro 2016.
Germany’s friendly match against Finland in Monchengladbach on August 31 will be played under the banner ‘Servus, Basti’ (Goodbye, Basti), with the Manchester United midfielder set to make a final international appearance.
“It will be a special evening for me in Monchengladbach and I have a lot to thank DFB [German Football Federation] and the Germany fans for,” Schweinsteiger said on the DFB’s official website.
“I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to put on the Germany shirt one last time.”
Podolski,who confirmed his Germany retirement on Monday, is unavailable for that match after sustaining an injury in the Turkish Super Cup clash between Galatasaray and Fenerbahce, but coach Joachim Low offered assurances that a similar tribute – ‘Tscho, Poldi’ (Cheers, Poldi) – will be planned for him.
“Bastian and Lukas have rendered a great service to the German national team, the DFB and German football,” said head coach Joachim Low. “I know that it will mean a lot to both of them to play for their country one last time. It really shows how important the national team has been for them.
“It is a shame that Lukas can’t play in Monchengladbach. However, I assured them that he will be able to personally say goodbye to the fans on the pitch one last time.
“Germany supporters will also definitely want to see him play for his country again. We will find an opportunity to make up for him not being able to feature against Finland.”
Podolski added: “Everyone knows that the national team holds a special place in my heart. It was an honour to play for Germany.
“Obviously I wish I could play in Monchengladbach but unfortunately my injury rules me out. I am extremely grateful to DFB and the head coach for allowing me to play one last game for Germany.
“But I’m most looking forward to seeing all the fans. I wish I could bid farewell to them all individually.”