Michael Ballack admits that it was a difficult decision to hang up his boots but ultimately he felt that it was time to call an end to a decorated career.
The 36-year-old represented the German national side 98 times and played for European powerhouses Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich and Chelsea. Despite entering preliminary negotiations with American and Australian clubs, Ballack decided to call it a day.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Ballack said: "It's never easy, you know? But I felt it's time to stop playing.
"I'm 36 now and I had a great career, had a great time playing football - so many great moments.
"But there's always a point where you say 'that's it', and that came this summer."
One of Germany's greatest talents, Ballack won the Bundesliga on four occasions, the Premier League and was included in the Uefa Euro Team of the Tournament in both 2004 and 2008.
However, when asked about his plans for the future and whether he would continue to work in the line of football, the former attacking midfielder was uncertain.
"Not yet," he added. "I'm trying to enjoy my life at the moment, adapting to the new situation – it's something totally new for me – without any football, and that's what I'm trying to enjoy now, then we'll see."