Paulo Wanchope bowed out of international football and said : 'It was a very emotional day for me.'
After scoring 45 goals in 72 appearances for Costa Rica, he finished on a losing note.
They opened the scoring through Ronald Gomez but Poland hit back to record a 2-1 victory thanks to a brace from Barosz Bosacki.
Wanchope, 29, gave the reason for his decision to retire as the amount of travelling involved for his country.
After wearing the colours of among others, Derby, Manchester City and West Ham, he is anxious to return to Europe.
Wanchope, who plays in Costa Rica for Herediano, believes he will be ready for that new challenge because he will be fit and rested as he will not be involved at international level.
He said: 'I am still young but I am leaving the squad because of the travelling. It is enough for me.
'When you have to take a plane and travel 10 to 12 hours it is difficult.
'Hopefully I can come back to Europe and get a club but we will just have to wait and see.
'I will be ready because I will be able to rest for domestic games. That will be better for me.'
Under-pressure Poland coach Pawel Janas was delighted to record a victory and Bosacki's unlikely contribution.
It was the defender's first goals for his country and Janas said: 'I am very grateful to him.
'You expect your strikers and midfielders to get your goals, not defenders.
'But I have to thank my team for raising their game and giving our marvellous supporters something to cheer about.'