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Schweinsteiger returns

'You never forget moments like that'

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The crowd went wild. Because of the four goals of course, but above all because of what happened after 77 minutes. That was when Bastian Schweinsteiger celebrated his comeback in the closing stages of the 4-0 win against Hoffenheim, finally marking the end of 132 long days on the sidelines for the World Cup winner. The fans gave their idol a fantastic vocal reception and a standing ovation – and the 30-year-old was clearly over the moon.

“It was very emotional to get a reception like that from the supporters. You never forget moments like that,” said a delighted Schweinsteiger in response to the waves of enthusiasm from the Bayern fans when the World Cup winner warmed up on the touchline. “The fans have been desperately waiting for this moment,” declared Manuel Neuer, ” you could feel that during the warm-up.” And Arjen Robben said: “I got goose bumps when Basti came on.”

Schweinsteiger soaked up the atmosphere like a sponge. When ‘Mr Bayern’ was brought on he felt “that every training session over the past few months had been worth it, just for that moment.” The 30-year-old did not take long to get up to speed: A perfectly-timed assist from Schweinsteiger set up Sebastian Rode to net his first competitive goal for FCB. The scorer of the fourth and final goal in the 4-0 win celebrated his strike and the pass from the World Cup winner: “Let’s hope he soon finds his way back to his best form.”

'We missed him'

“We’re happy Bastian is back,” declared chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. “He’s provided an assist in his first game back. Everything’s wonderful!” For Pep Guardiola, Schweinsteiger return is “great news for us but above all for him.” Neuer explained how important Schweinsteiger is to the team: “He’s been out for a long time and we’ve missed him on the pitch.” And Robben said: “When Philipp’s out Basti’s our captain. He’s incredibly important to us.”

Schweinsteiger never stopped believing he in his comeback. “I always thought I would make it,” declared the Germany captain who also faced a mental challenge during his enduring struggle with a knee injury. “I had to be very patient but the club gave me plenty of time. That made it easier for me.” However, Schweinsteiger warned against expecting too much: “I’m not where I want to be as yet. But it will get better and better.”