Matthaus urges Schweinsteiger and Podolski to retire from Germany duty

The former Die Mannschaft captain believes the time has come for the injury-plagued duo to call time on their international careers and make space for the next generation of stars

Former Germany captain Lothar Matthaus has advised Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski to retire from international duty and focus on their club careers instead.

Schweinsteiger and Podolski have been key figures for Germany since making their respective debuts in 2004, but Matthaus believes the time has come for the duo to make way for younger players.

"Podolski and Schweinsteiger will have noticed [coach Joachim] Low no longer banks on them like in the past," Matthaus wrote in his column for Sport Bild.

"Podolski knows other players are the future in his position.

"Schweinsteiger is being plagued by injuries and is missing a certain lightness.

"Both should be asking themselves whether they would do their body a favour by retiring from international duty.

"Maybe retiring from Germany duty could help them make a fresh start at Galatasaray and Manchester United."

Only Matthaus (150), Germany's most-capped player, and Miroslav Klose (137) have made more appearances for the national team than Podolski (129) and Schweinsteiger (120).