‘FC Bayern are mobilising people in the USA’
It's three years since Bastian Schweinsteiger left FC Bayern. The Bavarian 'football god' is now playing for Chicago Fire in the Major League Soccer. Of course, Bastian has kept an eye on FC Bayern from afar. And even more so now that the German record champions are on tour in the USA. Schweinsteiger talked to fcbayern.com about football in America. "The USA is a huge market," he said, "the people here love sport. The average attendances are higher than in Italy and France."
Interview with Bastian Schweinsteiger
Bastian, you're now in your second year at Chicago Fire in the MLS. How is football developing in the USA?
Schweinsteiger: "The MLS has become more and more popular. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney are playing here now. I think more top European players will follow. And the MLS has improved a lot in financial terms. The average attendances are higher than in Italy and France. There's always a positive atmosphere in the stadiums. A lot of families come to the games and the entertainment factor is high. It's great fun for me here as a player too."
Presumably, awarding the 2026 World Cup to the USA, Canada and Mexico will help boost that upward trend.
Schweinsteiger: "Definitely. America can show the world the global sport of football will get bigger here. I'm sure the teams at the World Cup in eight years time will experience a really good atmosphere."
What's the status of the International Champions Cup (ICC) in the USA? It's well known, the tournament is organised by the American billionaire Stephen Ross and his sports company Relevant Sport. Are you watching the games?
Schweinsteiger: "The ICC is very much appreciated in the USA. The people are happy the big European teams are coming over here to America. The stadiums are mostly sold out and there's always a wonderful atmosphere. The matches are all broadcast live and, of course, I always watch them if I've got the time."
What do you think about FC Bayern being more involved after the past few years in international markets like the USA or China and 'picking up' fans there?
Schweinsteiger: "It's absolutely the right way. The USA is a huge market. Chicago is a sports city and home to the Black Hawks, the Cubs, the White Sox, the Bears, the Bulls. The people love sport. And, for example, when FC Bayern come to town that mobilises people."
What's the status of FC Bayern in the USA today?
Schweinsteiger: "There's a lot of interest in Bayern. Of course, the English teams have an advantage as a lot of Premier League games are on TV. But FC Bayern matches are shown as well."