Twelve years, seven major tournaments and one World Cup crown proved to be enough for Lukas Podolski as the veteran striker announced Monday that he has stepped down from the "Mannschaft" - the German national team.

"The time has come," Podolski wrote on his Instagram account. "I want to tell you today, that I have called Coach (Joachim) Loew to inform him that I'll not be part of the national team any longer. I'm at a point in my career where I want to cut it back a bit.

"Now, my focus shifts to other aspects. My club. My foundation. Obviously my family, my wife and my two kids."

The 31-year-old, who this weekend starts his second season with Turkish club Galatasaray, bows out of international play after appearing in three World Cups and four European Championships, with the biggest highlight being the 2014 World Cup crown.

"It was a hard decision to make," he wrote. "For me, the Mannschaft always has been and always will be an affair of the heart. I feel a great deal of pride. What an amazing time it has been, all that we achieved in these 12 years. It was an incomparable experience with so much joy, passion, emotion and togetherness."

Podolski, who made his German debut in June 2004 just two days after his 19th birthday, scored 48 goals in 129 caps - the latter which ranks him third all-time for Germans behind Lothar Matthaeus' 150 caps and 137 from Miroslav Klose.

"We won so much with the DFB (German Football Federation) team. I have seen so many countries and cities, have met so many people, had so many unforgettable moments. It's been quite a journey," Podolski said.

The Gliwice, Poland native thanked the DFB, his former team-mates and his former coaches. He also praised the ever-present support from the German fans.

"My appreciation for all the fan support could not be greater. You guys have been amazing," he said.

"You always kept the faith. You just never wavered, I could always rely on you. This connection has been so important for me. As I leave the Mannschaft, this is what I'll miss the most: the closeness with the fans. For all and everything: Thank You."

Podolski's retirement comes barely over two weeks after Bastian Schweinsteiger stepped down on July 29. German football fans watched "Schweini" and "Poldi" grow up in front of their eyes together. Schweinsteiger earned 120 caps from 2004 to 2016.

"You can and could always rely on him. For all the looseness and easiness that he stands for, he is a model of professionalism and attitude," Loew said about Podolski on the DFB website.

"With Poldi, the national team loses a passionate footballer and a huge personality who will be missed by us and the fans," German national team manager Oliver Bierhoff added on the DFB site.

Podolski's final appearance for Germany came in the Round of 16 at Euro 2016 against Slovakia as he came on in the 72nd minute.

"Poldi" said he will now support the national team as a fan.

"For the German team, my best wishes. Let's defend this great title in 2018 and keep this marvelous trophy," he wrote.

"Starting today, I'll keep my fingers crossed – as one more fan of the Mannschaft. Take care. It's been an honour."

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.