Bastian Schweinsteiger calls it quits; legend retires from international football

By: | Updated: July 29, 2016 6:47 PM

Bastian Schweinsteiger!! Watching the good old lad run for United, one could see that he was the guy who had his foot on the pedal in that deep lying central midfield role, just as he was for several successfull years at Bayern Munich.

Bastian Schweinsteiger, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, football news, germany, world cup, champions league, bundesligaIn his 18 years long career, Schweinsteiger won 8 Bundesliga titles, UEFA Champions League in 2013, FA Cup in 2015/16, and World Cup for Germany is 2014. (Reuters)

Bastian Schweinsteiger!! Watching the good old lad run for United, one could see that he was the guy who had his foot on the pedal in that deep lying central midfield role, just as he was for several successfull years at Bayern Munich. Schweinsteiger is the pacemaker, the chronometer; he set the pace that defined Manchester United’s controlled tempo. Born in Oberaudorf, a little village, 50 miles from Munich, his first memories of football were playing in the gardern with his older brother. His father Alfred, owned a sporting goods shop, “Sports Schweinsteiger” in the village. Watching West Germany win the 1990 World Cup in Italy is one of the memories he holds dear.,

As a kid, another sport captured the young Schweinsteiger’s attention. It has to be understood that he grew up close to Austria. And that gave him a tough choice to make; skiing or football. And the young lad was an excellent skier. He would race and often beat Felix Neureuther, who would later bag the silver medal at the 2013 Alpine World Ski Championships.

In an interview given in 2015, he said, “When I was 14, I got the offer from Bayern”. But then it meant I had to choose between football and skiing. I moved when I was 14 or 15 to Munich, and started from there.” Schweinsteiger broke into the Champions League winning team as a teenager where he played as an attacking mid fielder.

It all changed with Louis Van Gaal took charge of Bayern Munich as the manager. Van Gaal recognised his true potential and played him as a central mid fielder, a position, he became the best at, for both country and clubs. Van Gaal’s tenure at Munich saw a change in Schweinsteiger off the pitch. He started to relish the responsibility of his new role on the pitch and adopted a calmer approach off it.
The World Cup final saw him with blood streaming down his face by the end of it. Thae game, that Germany won to conquer the World Cup, can be considered one of the best games of his long illustrated career. He ran 15km, more than anyone on the pitch. But such efforts take a toll. His last few years at Bayern Munich were plagued with recurrent knee injuries. And after 17 years, he finally made a move to Manchester United when Van Gaal took on as the manager of the Red Devils. Schweinsteiger though, credits his move to Man Utd. to Eric Cantona. In his own words, Schweinsteiger idiolised King Cantona and admired his style, class and attitude.

Schweinsteiger’s time at Man Utd. wasn’t the best of his career. With Jose Mourinho taking charge as the new manager, Schweinsteiger’s time at the club was almost at an end.

The 31-year-old star confirmed on Twitter on July 29 that he has decided to call time on an international career in which he won 120 caps. He made his Germany debut in June 2004 and his 38 appearances at major international tournaments stands as the current world record.

He made 20 World Cup and 18 European Championship appearances, with his last game in th Euro 2016 semifinal, which saw him overtake former Germany teammate Miroslav Klose. In his 18 years long career, Schweinsteiger won 8 Bundesliga titles, UEFA Champions League in 2013, FA Cup in 2015/16, and World Cup for Germany is 2014.

(with inputs from talksport)

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