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Schweinsteiger: Bayern is my home

It's hard to imagine a better early Christmas present for Bayern and their fans than the one delivered at the end of the last home match in 2010. First of all, there was a fine performance and fully merited win against promoted St Pauli, and then a huge but welcome surprise: Bastian Schweinsteiger, who has been in scintillating form for months and is now one of the key personalities at the club, took the stadium microphone, advanced to a position in front of the south terrace, and informed the 69,000 crowd at the Allianz Arena of his decision to extend his stay at Bayern until June 2016.

Schweinsteiger’s current deal was due to expire in June 2012, but his decision to ink a four-year extension means the Bayern squad for the mid-term future takes on ever sharper contours. The board has already agreed long-term deals with Philipp Lahm (until 2016), Thomas Müller (2015), Holger Badstuber (2014) and Franck Ribéry (2015). Schweinsteiger has followed suit, even though contract talks with the club were not expected to begin until spring next year.