German legend Bastian Schweinsteiger has officially announced his retirement from football on Monday.
Bastian Schweinsteiger will definitely go down in football history as one of Germany’s all-time greats. Schweinsteiger along with Lahm, Ballack, Podolski, Klose and Neuer formed the backbone of the great German team who won almost everything in that era. They won the FIFA World Cup in 2014.
He has won 121 caps for Germany to become their fourth-highest appearance-maker. His greatest achievement for the national team was winning the World Cup in 2014. He also captained the German national team for two years after Philipp Lahm’s retirement.
Schweinsteiger came through the ranks of Bayern Munich’s youth system. He then went on to become an important 1st team player for Bayern. He has won 18 trophies in his 14-year Bayern Munich career including eight Bundesliga and one Champions League trophy. His most memorable moment for Bayern was the treble-winning season of 2012-13.
He moved to the Premier League in 2015 but was unable to repeat the same success with Manchester United. He struggled under Louis Van Gaal but then made a comeback into Jose Mourinho’s United and showed everyone that the never-say-die German spirit is instilled deep in his blood.
In 2017, he made his move to the MLS. He joined Chicago Fire.
Chicago Fire failed to reach the MLS playoffs this season. So after completing another season with Chicago Fire, Schweinsteiger has now decided to draw curtains to his footballing career.
On Monday, Schweinsteiger wrote on Twitter: “The time has now come.
I would like to thank both you and my teams FC Bayern, Manchester United, Chicago Fire and the German national team. You made this unbelievable time possible for me! And of course, I would also like to thank my wife Ana Ivanovic and my family for their support.
Saying goodbye as an active player makes me feel a little nostalgic, but I am also looking forward to the exciting challenges that await me soon. I will remain faithful to football. Many, many thanks for the time we spent together, I will always have a place for you in my heart!”
Ottmar Hitzfeld was Bastian Schweinsteiger’s first Bayern Munich coach. Hitzfeld gave Schweinsteiger his Bayern debut as an 18-year-old in 2002. He feels it was an honour to work with someone who went on to become a Germany icon.
Hitzfeld told Goal of Schweinsteiger’s debut against Lens in the Champions League 17 years ago: “That was the time when I thought I could throw the boy in. I had already seen in the training games what a high level and what great talent he had. Nevertheless, it is a long way [to the top]. As a coach, I experienced many talents who then fell by the wayside.
For me as a coach, it was not difficult to shape him, because his great talent was already there. Bastian was a born footballer, you do not have to do much, just lead. That’s why I’m glad he made that career. It was a privilege to work with him because such a player is a gift for every coach.”
“Bastian is one of the best German footballers of all time. He has shaped German football with his unbelievable game intelligence for more than a decade as a symbolic figure. His share in winning the World Cup was incredibly high. You cannot overestimate his performance.
With this German mentality, with this fighting spirit coupled with his technical ability, he has fought until the end. He has preceded [others] as an absolute role model and has transferred his incredible will to the team.”
Schweinsteiger was an influential part of Joachim Low’s side that won the FIFA World Cup in Brazil five years ago. Germany defeated Argentina 1-0 in the final at the Maracana.
Low said to the media about Schweinsteiger: “He was certainly one of the greatest players Germany had. Each one of us must have a picture of him in our head and that’s the game, the final in the Maracana, blood streaming, he keeps getting up. He fights until he falls down. His will to win could also be seen in every action. He was a great player and a great personality.”
Low also said that Schweinsteiger will always have a place in Germany’s set up. He added: “Every player who has once played with us, is of course always welcome. Just as Miroslav Klose thought of it. I know him, always open, always honest, always emphatic towards the fans. The fans liked him. For Bastian, we always have a place with us.”
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