Schalke 04's ex-Germany defender Christoph Metzelder on Thursday announced his retirement, ahead of this weekend's final round of Bundesliga matches.
"I am very grateful for everything I have been able to experience over the last 13 years, the last few months have been torture, so I have to be honest," he said in a press conference.
Schalke's away match at Freiburg on Saturday will be the 32-year-old centre-back's last after an injury-hit season, which has seen him make just four league appearances.
He made the last of his 47 appearances for Germany in the 1-0 Euro 2008 final defeat to Spain in Vienna and was part of the squad which finished as runner-up at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan, then third at the 2006 tournament hosted by Germany.
The injury-prone defender played for Borussia Dortmund from 2000 until 2007, then spent three seasons at Real Madrid, where he failed to hold down a regular spot, before returning to the Bundesliga and Schalke.
He made 178 Bundesliga appearances over the years, scoring four goals.