Joachim Low hailed Bastian Schweinsteiger as a “great player and great man” and says Germany’s success over the past 12 years would not have been possible without the influential midfielder.
Schweinsteiger bid an emotional farewell to Die Mannschaft by captaining Germany in Wednesday’s 2-0 friendly victory over Finland.
The 32-year-old announced his decision to walk away from international football following Germany’s Euro 2016 semi-final defeat to France.
And Low hailed Schweinsteiger’s contribution to the national team, particularly his role in helping Germany to World Cup glory in Brazil two years ago.
“Before the game and during the substitution of Basti I was emotionally very affected. I was remembering all the years, we’ve worked together for 12 years,” he told a news conference.
“Basti and also Lukas [Podolski] have been the constants during my whole term, they have been always with us at the national team.
“Besides his extraordinary qualities and performances as a footballer – especially 2014, in the most important match in the past years – what was and is for me so impressive and remarkable is his humanity, his honesty and, of course, his fairness.
“I have to owe a lot to Basti. I think without him we would not have all the consistent success we had in the last 12 years – we’ve been every time in a semi-final, every time. We won the World Cup and without him this would not have been possible.
“I do not wish to offend anybody, but he influenced the team massively. We’ve talked a lot together, sometimes about things not regarding football and his authentic, his open and his honest manner has impressed me every time. He was a great player and great man.”
Low’s words were echoed by team-mate Mesut Ozil, who also paid tribute to Schweinsteiger’s achievement.
“We’re all sad,” Ozil added. “We know he’s a great lad and a great footballer who’s given a great deal for his country and you can see how grateful the fans are to have had a player like him.
“We’re all delighted to have been able to play with him and we’re very proud of him.
“Of course we will miss him. He and Lukas Podolski, who we mustn’t forget either, had a great deal of positive energy all the time.”