Bastian Schweinsteiger appointed new Germany captain
Bastian Schweinsteiger has been named as the new captain of the Germany national team, head coach Joachim Low announced at a news conference on Tuesday.
Schweinsteiger, 30, inherits the armband from Bayern Munich teammate Philipp Lahm, who retired from international football at the age of just 30 after leading Germany to their fourth World Cup triumph in July.
The midfielder is currently ruled out of action with a knee injury and will therefore miss his first possible outing as captain on Wednesday, a rematch of the World Cup final when Germany host Argentina in a friendly in Dusseldorf.
Schweinsteiger was a key part of the squad which was victorious in Brazil, featuring in all but one of their seven matches including all 120 minutes of the extra-time victory over Argentina at Rio de Janerio's Maracana stadium.
The Bavaria-born player has won 108 senior caps for his country to date, scoring 23 goals.
"Schweinsteiger enjoys a high approval. We've worked together for ten years now: he has immense experience and is a good communicator in the dressing room," Low explained.
"He is the legitimate successor to Lahm. The decision that he would take the captaincy for the next two years was clear to me," Low said.
There had been speculation that the midfielder might be too injury-prone for the captaincy, but Low has no doubts that the former vice-captain will return to the form he displayed in Brazil. "I've talked to him in Munich last week. It's not like he'll be out for months," Low said. "I could always rely on him when it came to the point. I have absolute trust in him."
In the final against Argentina, Schweinsteiger suffered several knocks, but played the full match despite a bleeding head wound sustained early in the second half of extra-time.
"Schweinsteiger has always taken great responsibility. Just look how he played in the final," Low said.
The Bayern player will take the captaincy for the next two years up until the 2016 European Championships in France, and Low believes Schweinsteiger can lead Die Nationalmannschaft to more glory.
"He has one big goal, that's the France in 2016. He has a burning ambition. And if he's not around, any of those players from the player council can step in," said Low, who called Manuel Neuer, Sami Khedira, Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels into his pool of trusted players.
Low -- who is also under contract until 2016 -- added: "You should never plan beyond the next tournament. We plan for the next two years.
"Our next big goal as Die Nationalmannschaft is to play the final in Paris in 2016. It's still a long way, but it starts on Sunday, when we take on Scotland."