Enthusiastic reception for Schweinsteiger at Säbener Straße
Bastian Schweinsteiger may not have expected it. Over 2,000 fans made their way to Säbener Straße on Sunday to watch and cheer on Bastian Schweinsteiger in the open training session with his current club Chicago Fire. Two days ahead of his farewell game at the Allianz Arena, the supporters welcomed him to the training session with an enthusiastic reception as he returned to his old stomping ground.
"It's great to be back here. There's a real feeling of being at home here in Munich and seeing the people in the city again," said Schweinsteiger at a press conference ahead of the training session. During the training session with the MLS club, Schweinsteiger was again and again on the end of applause and shouts of football legend with numerous FC Bayern shirts with the number 31 on the back surrounding the training ground. "I'm just happy to be here. I had a really wonderful time here FC Bayern and we helped develop things here," said Schweinsteiger looking back as he remembered the time, "before one season when we didn't have the chance to say we are playing in the Champions League." That's all changed, "the club has grown bigger. That mentality is always here at the club and I think the club is on the right track."
17 years, 20 titles
Schweinsteiger left FC Bayern in the summer of 2015 after 17 years and a total of 20 titles to join Manchester United under the former Bayern coach Louis van Gaal. After 18 months at the English record champions, he moved across the pond to the American Major League Soccer (MLS) team Chicago fire. On Tuesday night, the World Cup winner of 2014 will play one half each for Chicago and FC Bayern. "We are very happy to be able to support this event. We are very proud," declared Fire coach Veljko Paunovic. It is "unbelievable which emotions rise up around this game. You can see how important Basti is to the people here," said the impressed former Hannover 96 pro. Schweinsteiger is also an important personality for this team both on and off the pitch. "He's a great role model for us all."
Schweinsteiger is also expecting an emotional night on Tuesday. "I somewhat underestimated that when I retired from the national team. I felt emotions, you have images in your head, you see the faces the people and let yourself be led by that." He said remembering his last international for Germany almost two years to the day exactly against Finland. "Of course, I'm trying to enjoy it but I know it'll be emotional for me."