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Schweinsteiger: 'Bayern is my home'

He was benched, then he was banned, and he ended up a hero - Bastian Schweinsteiger's Euro 2008 was a real emotional roller-coaster. "Very good in phases," Jürgen Klinsmann commented on the midfielder's curate's egg of a European championship. Three weeks after Germany's defeat to Spain in the final, Schweinsteiger himself said he had "moved on. I don't really want to talk about the Euro any more. The past counts for nothing in football.“

The future is where Schweinsteiger's thoughts are directed right now. The player, who will be 24 on 1 August, is looking ahead with great confidence. "There's a lot happening, everything's on an upward curve, we're moving in positive regions," he declared, just two days after reporting back to the Säbener Strasse for pre-season.

Confident and hungry

His goal for the coming season with Germany's leading club was to "make my contribution and be as successful as possible." However, Schweinsteiger is perfectly well aware of the intense battle for places in midfield, which has become even more daunting since the arrival of Tim Borowski this summer.

"I showed what I'm capable of at the Euro," he commented, turning briefly to the past again as he eyed up the new campaign. Explosive, eager to shoot and lively were Schweinsteiger's main qualities as the European championship entered its decisive phase, although that had something to do with the switch to a 4-5-1 formation, the player reasoned. "I had more of a free role and was able to express myself a lot more in attack," he explained.

Contract expires soon

Two days after returning to the club, Schweinsteiger felt unable to say whether he would fill a more attacking or defensive role this term. "I can play on the left, on the right or in the centre. It's the coach's decision," he remarked.

More of a certainty is the fact that this is a pivotal season for Schweinsteiger, as his contract expires in mid-2009. He joined Munich back in 1998 and made his professional debut in November 2002. He has now clocked up 153 Bundesliga appearances (15 goals) in a Bayern shirt, and is planning to add many more to that number. "I'll be talking to Bayern before I talk to anyone else," he promised, "because Bayern Munich is my home.“

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