'The game of my life': Bastian Schweinsteiger on Wembley 2013
Happy Birthday, Fußballgott ! (Footballing God or idol) Today, August 1, Bastian Schweinsteiger (Illustration: Sarah Matuszewski) is celebrating his 36th birthday. The German record champions' long-standing midfielder celebrated his greatest success at club level with the Champions League triumph in 2013. Schweini made sure he held onto his shirt from the final at Wembley, because that day marked his 500th and last competitive appearance for FC Bayern, with whom he became an eight-time German champion and lifted the DFB cup seven times. We take a look back on the day with FC Bayern club magazine '51'.
Bastian Schweinsteiger on his 'game of my life'
"When I woke up that day in London, I immediately had the thought: We're taking the trophy home tonight! In 2010 and 2012, we had narrowly failed and especially after the Finale dahoam in 2012, we had this huge craving to be the absolute best team in Europe. That much was already evident in the first training session of the new season - and then at Wembley too.
Everyone absolutely full of resolve
During the warm-up, Mario Mandžukić stepped on my ankle in a game of five-on-five, and I was made painfully aware - literally - of his determination. It was our third final in four years - and against Dortmund - so of course we were under pressure, but after 20 minutes we took matters into our own hands. Mario made it 1-0 with an hour gone, and although Ilkay Gündogan equalised with a penalty shortly afterwards, I never thought it could go wrong again."
"Jupp Heynckes had told us again and again: Take the initiative, don't be passive! So we continued to go forward in a controlled manner - and were rewarded. Our winning goal was a completely untypical one. Jérôme Boateng had the ball in our half. I wanted the ball on the left, but he played a long pass forward to Franck Ribéry. We never used to do that!
Robben's shot "crossed the line at an estimated 3km/h"
Then everything happened very quickly. Franck placed the ball and Arjen Robben's shot crossed the line at an estimated three km/h! The way Arjen sprinted to the fans afterwards, the way we all ran to him - what an adrenalin rush! Sheer happiness! When the referee blew his whistle, I fell to my knees. You could see the same thing in the faces of every single one of them: Finally we'd done it! The party afterwards was also legendary. At some point I ended up on the dance floor with Jupp Heynckes and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. Those are glorious memories."
In the 'Game of my life' series, Jörg Butt looks back on a very special game for a goalkeeper