Manuel Neuer has been named Germany captain following Bastian Schweinsteiger’s retirement from international duty.
The Bayern Munich goalkeeper assumes the armband with immediate effect, his first game leading the national team set to be Germany’s opening match of World Cup qualifying against Norway on Sunday.
Schweinsteiger’s illustrious international career came to an end on Wednesday as Germany beat Finland 2-0 in Monchengladbach, the midfielder winning his 121st and final cap.
The 32-year-old took over the captaincy when Philipp Lahm retired following the 2014 World Cup, but he announced his intention to step away from the international game after Germany were eliminated from Euro 2016.
An emotional Schweinsteiger played 68 minutes in his farewell and posed for a selfie with a pitch invader wearing a ‘Schweinsteiger 7’ shirt, before leaving the field to a standing ovation.
Mats Hummels had been touted as his successor, but coach Joachim Low has opted for 30-year-old Neuer.
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) September 1, 2016
“As a national team we are in the fortunate position to have several leading players who have a captain’s profile,” said Low.
“For me Manuel Neuer is the logical successor of Bastian Schweinsteiger.
“He brings everything that I want from a captain. His sporting achievements are outstanding, Manuel is always there for the team, he is a team player and an absolute role model.
“There are also his great human qualities. He accepts responsibility, he is calm and collected. Manuel is highly regarded, his word has weight.”
Neuer, who has 71 caps, is the second goalkeeper to captain Germany after Oliver Kahn.
“For me it is a great honour,” he said. “It makes me proud to be captain of the team, but we all know that we need several leading players on the pitch if we are to succeed.”