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Schweini’s superb season

Bastian blossoms as tactician and schemer

Saturday in Berlin, freezing cold in the persistent rain, and the throng of humanity shivering in the unseasonable chill. A small group of tourists caught the eye in their red winter jackets: Jörg Butt, Mario Gomez and Co, stretching their legs ahead of the DFB Cup final. Their stroll took in the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag and the usual sights. And the tour guide was Bastian Schweinsteiger.

The 25-year-old has emerged as a genuine leader on the field this season too. Named third captain by Louis van Gaal and installed in his favoured role in central defensive midfield, Schweinsteiger has warmed to the burden of responsibility. “Mark van Bommel and I try to direct the play,” he said.