Bastian Schweinsteiger announced his retirement from professional soccer on Tuesday via social media.
The Bayern Munich and German national team legend had joined the Bavarians’ under-17 squad in 1999, and was considered a first team player from the summer of 2002 on. He won eight Bundesliga titles as well as seven German Cups and the 2013 UEFA Champions League trophy with his home town club.
In 2014 he was one of the key players of the 2014 Germany squad that won the FIFA World Cup.
A year later, Bastian Schweinsteiger set out for a new challenge, choosing Manchester United as his destination. There he never reached the heights of his Bayern days, nor did he get the respect he deserved.
For that reason, “Schweini” left MANU and joined the struggling Major League Soccer franchise Chicago Fire instead in early 2017. During three seasons in the Windy City, he played a key role, but the team never made the playoffs in that span. It was therefore natural to call time on a stellar career at age 35.
Despite having been unable to replicate the success he had at Bayern and the German national team in Manchester or Chicago, Bastian Schweinsteiger will go down in history as one of the best players to have ever played the game.
In Munich, he is considered almost like a deity among those who have the red team in their heart at least.
I was in the minority of fans who held his move to Manchester United against him. When he left, I felt angry and betrayed. Not only because he chose not to finish his career at his boyhood club, but that he went to the team that broke Bayern fans’ hearts so much in that unforgettable 1999 Champions League final.
Now I have learned to forgive and celebrate him for the legend that he truly is.