Friday 17 July 2020 14:31, UK
Andre Schurrle has announced his retirement from football at the age of 29, admitting the "depths became deeper and the highlights less and less" during his career.
The former Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund forward had cancelled the remainder of his contract with the Bundesliga side earlier in the week.
Schurrle spent last season on loan in Russia with Spartak Moscow having enjoyed a similar stint with Fulham in the previous campaign.
However, after an 11-year career in which he won the Premier League at Stamford Bridge, as well as the German Cup with both Dortmund and Wolfsburg and the World Cup in 2014, Schurrle has decided to bow out of the professional game.
"The decision has matured in me for a long time," he said in an interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel.
"I no longer need the applause. The depths became deeper and the highlights less and less.
"You always have to play a certain role in order to survive in the business otherwise you will lose your job and will not get a new one. Only performance on the pitch counts."
Schurrle had spells at Mainz and Leverkusen before moving to Chelsea where he received a Premier League winner's medal despite joining Wolfsburg in the January transfer window in 2015 after 18 months in London.
He scored twice in Germany's famous 7-1 World Cup semi-final win over hosts Brazil in 2014 before providing the assist for Mario Gotze's winner in the final against Argentina.
"I want to let you know that I'm stepping away from playing professional football," he said on Instagram.
"On behalf of myself and my family I want to thank everybody who was a part of these phenomenal years! The support and love you shared with me was unbelievable and more I could have ever asked for!
"Now I'm ready and open for all the beautiful possibilities that are coming towards me."