Bastian Schweinsteiger Profile
|Born||Aug 01, 1984|
|Birthplace||Kolbermoor, West Germany|
Bastian Schweinsteiger is a German soccer icon, with a career spanning almost 20 years. He won everything there is to win as a player with Bayern Munich and internationally with Germany.
German coach Joachim Low has referred to Schweinsteiger as one of the greatest players Germany has ever produced. Nicknamed the 'Midfield Motor', he was a multi-talented midfielder who could play a large number of roles.
He could dictate play and succeeded at both club and international level. Known as 'the brain' of the German team, he was also renowned for his tackling and robust defensive play.
Schweinsteiger is most well known for playing at Bayern Munich for 17 years. He left Bayern for Manchester United in 2015 but played irregularly during an 18-month spell at Old Trafford. He then moved to MLS side Chicago Fire before announcing his retirement in October 2019.
He played international soccer for Germany at multiple levels, as well as for the full national team for 12 years, winning the World Cup in 2014 and making over 120 appearances.
Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Chicago Fire
Schweinsteiger joined Bayern Munich as a youth team player on July 1, 1998, and quickly rose through the club's ranks. Despite being a talented ski-runner, he decided to pursue a career as a professional soccer player.
He won the German youth championship in 2002 and earned himself a place in the Bayern reserves. Over the next few years, he yo-yoed between the reserves and the first team.
He started the 2005/06 season surprisingly in the reserves but was soon to play a vital role in Bayern's double-winning campaign. His prominence from then only grew, with Basti's Bayern winning the double in both the 2007/08 and 2009/10 seasons as well. This saw him extend his contract with the club until 2016 in December 2010.
In the 2012/13 season, Schweinsteiger performed at his formidable best, forming a strong partnership with new signing Javi Martinez in the centre of midfield. He scored the goal that sealed the title for Bayern Munich against Eintracht Frankfurt and ended the season on a high by claiming the treble - the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League. He was named German Player of the Year in 2013 and was described by then Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes as the best midfielder in the world.
The 2013/14 season was another double-winning campaign for Bayern as they again secured the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal.
On May 23, 2015, Schweinsteiger scored in his 500th and last game for Bayern Munich as he was transferred to Manchester United just two months later. Schweinsteiger was a fan favourite at Bayern and was called Fussballgott (Football God) by Bayern's fans.
In his 17 seasons in Munich, he scored 68 goals in 500 games in all competitions. He won eight Bundesliga titles, seven DFB-Pokal titles, a UEFA Champions League and a UEFA Super Cup crown.
Schweinsteiger moved to Manchester United for £6.5million and in their pre-season game against Club America on July 17, 2015, became the first German to play for the United first team. However, during his time in Manchester, he struggled to reach the same standards he had done while at Bayern.
After the arrival of new manager Jose Mourinho, Schweinsteiger was demoted to training with the under-23 team. This wasn't taken well by high-profile former players, who criticised Mourinho's handling of the situation. Despite subsequently being selected in the first team once again, he never really got going as a Red Devil and his departure was inevitable.
On March 29, 2017, Schweinsteiger joined MLS side Chicago Fire. By mid-season, he had imposed himself on the league and was named to the "MLS All-Star Fan XI" to face Real Madrid in the 2017 MLS All-Star Game in Chicago. He also guided the Fire back to the play-offs after a five-year absence. His performances earned him a contract extension for the 2018 season.
On October 8, 2019, Schweinsteiger announced his retirement from professional soccer. In total he played 600 games for club and country. A few days later, German broadcaster ARD announced he would be a pundit on their channel through to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Life in the German national team
Schweinsteiger made his international debut in June 2004 in a friendly against Hungary, the first of 121 caps he would earn for Germany. He played in every major tournament for Die Mannschaft from UEFA Euro 2004 until Euro 2016.
By the age of 22 he had already played 41 matches for the German national team, a record for any German player at the time.
At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, he was brought in to be the experienced head in a young German side in place of the injured Michael Ballack.
His experience proved vital as he was able to keep Lionel Messi under wraps in a man-of-the-match performance in the quarter-finals against Argentina, where he got two assists in a 4-0 victory. Germany lost in the semi-finals to eventual winners Spain but overcame this setback to win the third-place play-off against Uruguay in a game in which Schweinsteiger was captain.
In 2014, Schweinsteiger was instrumental in his country's fourth World Cup win. One example of this was his marshalling of the midfield while providing sweeping, penetrating passes for the German attack in the 1-0 victory against Argentina in the final.
After Euro 2016, Schweinsteiger announced his retirement from international soccer. He had been the captain of the German team at the tournament. His final match was a friendly against Finland a month later.
Schweinsteiger married Serbian tennis player Ana Ivanovic in 2016 and the pair have two sons. He is also a Roman Catholic. His elder brother Tobias also played professional soccer for Bayern Munich reserves.
Schweinsteiger is believed to be worth around $80million according to sportstownfc.com. His most recent contract was with MLS side Chicago Fire, which was worth $17.1million according to Sportrac.