Bastian Schweinsteiger has thanked Germany’s fans for their support during Euro 2016 and shares their frustration at not being in Sunday’s final.
The Germany captain may well have played his last European Championships, with reports he is considering immediate retirement from the international game, but he did not touch on that in an open letter posted on the German Football Association’s Facebook page.
The Manchester United midfielder was penalised for handball to concede the penalty that brought the first of Antoine Griezmann’s two goals as hosts France eliminated the 2014 World Cup winners in Marseille in Thursday.
“Dear fans, I have one word: pity,” he wrote. “Our dream has not been fulfilled. We haven’t reached the final and there will be no magic night to follow the one in Rio.
“Sadly, we lacked something decisive against France: the luck you need. But defeats are part of the game, even if they hurt.
“And of course we can acknowledge the performance of our opponents and we can honestly congratulate the Equipe de France from the bottom of our hearts for reaching the final.
“I am nevertheless proud of what we have achieved. We stuck to our style of playing football. In the past seven weeks, we’ve grown tighter together as a team and this unity is what made us so strong two years ago in Brazil, and it was the same here in France. We are one team. We are Die Mannschaft.
“Part of that is you, the fans. In Lille, St-Denis, Paris, Bordeaux, Marseille – wherever we were, thanks to you we had a 12th man by our side. Your support in the stadiums could be heard and seen and we could also feel the great backing of the people in the whole of Germany. At this point, I would like to say MANY THANKS to the fans.
“Many thanks also to the hosts, France and the French people. From day one, we felt good, secure and very welcome. We had the best conditions in Evian-les-Bains. We were able to focus, train hard and at the same time remain relaxed and chill out in our base. France have been outstanding hosts of this European Championships.
“In the name of the team, I would like to take my hat off to France. Merci! Au revoir! See you soon! Bastian Schweinsteiger.”
Schweinsteiger, 31, has been capped 120 times by his country and became captain in 2014, following the retirement of Philipp Lahm.