- FIFA World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger announces his retirement
- Former Bayern Munich star finishes his career at Chicago Fire
- The 35-year-old earned 121 caps for Germany
After a career that spanned 17 years of success, Bastian Schweinsteiger has hung up his boots. The midfield engine, who pulled on the shirts of Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Germany, leaves behind him a legacy that includes some of the national team’s most successful years.
Having made his debut in 2002 with Bayern as an 18-year-old, he would go on to accrue 27 winner’s medals, most notably the FIFA World Cup™ in 2014.
“Dear fans, the time has now come and I will be finishing my active career at the end of this season,” the former Germany captain announced on Twitter. “You made this unbelievable time possible for me.
“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.”
International excellence prevails
Having made his national team debut shortly prior to UEFA EURO 2004, featuring in all three of Germany’s games in Portugal, Schweinsteiger enjoyed a fairytale experience at the following World Cup on home soil. Starting all but one game en route to the final weekend of the tournament, their only defeat came to eventual champions Italy, with his brace helping earn them a bronze medal.
He would go on to help them to a silver medal at EURO 2008, another bronze at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa and a semi-final finish at EURO 2012, before reaching a pinnacle two years later.
After almost a quarter of a century since their last triumph, Brazil 2014 saw a Germany team, many of whom who had matured over the decade of Schweinsteiger’s involvement, finally fulfil their potential. A historic 7-1 win over the hosts preceded their 1-0 win over Argentina to clinch his one international title.
His penultimate appearance with Die Mannschaft saw him lead the side out – now with the captain’s armband – in the semi-finals of EURO 2016, where they lost to hosts France.