Created on 23-05-2015 at 16:31 PM
Flowers from the board, a choreographed mosaic in his honour from the South terrace and a standing ovation from the crowd: the Bundesliga home fixture against FSV Mainz was no ordinary encounter for Bastian Schweinsteiger. This season's final match against the team from Rhine-Hesse was Schweinsteiger's 500th appearance as a pro for the German record champions.
The midfielder made his debut as an 18-year-old emerging talent in November 2002, coming on for Mehmet Scholl in the 76th minute of a 3-3 draw with RC Lens in that season’s last Champions League group match. Twelve and a half years with 499 more matches and 20 (!) titles in total were to follow: eight German championship titles, seven DFB Cup triumphs, two DFL Super Cup victories and international trophies in the Champions League, the FIFA Club World Cup and the UEFA Super Cup.
In the all-time FC Bayern table the 30-year-old vice-captain ranks eighth, a position he also holds in the ranking of the FCB pros with the most Bundesliga appearances. Schweinsteiger is second only to Oliver Kahn (130) with 103 European matches. He is the current joint record holder of all active players in the DFB Cup with 49 outings (two for FC Bayern II), together with Claudio Pizarro.
Schweinsteiger has his place in FC Bayern history as a scorer too. On Matchday 28 of the 2013 treble season (1-0 away to Frankfurt) as well as on Matchday 30 in the current season (1-0 against Hertha BSC) he scored the title-clinching goals for the Reds.