Bastian Schweinsteiger feels a deep sense of gratitude for the experiences he has had with Germany as his international career draws to a close.
Schweinsteiger will play his final game for the world champions on Wednesday when they take on Finland in Monchengladbach.
The Manchester United midfielder will wear the captain’s armband – left to him following Philipp Lahm’s retirement in the wake of Germany’s 2014 World Cup triumph – for the last time in what will mark his 121st cap for his country.
Injuries prevented Schweinsteiger from becoming Germany’s most-capped player but he said in a media conference: “I’m still very, very happy with the number of games I played for Germany.
“I’m pleased to have been given the opportunity to play a testimonial.
“When the coach told me, I was delighted and of course emotional about it. I had great years here and feel deep gratitude for the games I was allowed to play for Germany.
“There has been such camaraderie, a family feeling at the DFB and then the 2014 World Cup, and then to be captain.
“As a little kid, you dream of such things so I’m pleased that I achieved it. I’m really happy and looking forward to tomorrow [Wednesday].
— Basti Schweinsteiger (@BSchweinsteiger) August 30, 2016
“I always wanted to play at Euro 2016 and that was my aim, and then during my holidays I asked myself if I could keep the same passion of the 2014 World Cup at another World Cup.
“I was honest with myself and answered ‘no’. You need to be a bit consequential and I decided this way.
“I’m really looking forward to this last game now. I’m sure there will be a great atmosphere and I’m really looking forward to singing the national anthem once again.”