Bastian Schweinsteiger is a German international footballer who has represented his country at the last four major tournaments. Starting his career as a right-footed winger, he has moved into central midfield to great success in recent years. He has played his entire career for FC Bayern Munchen of the Bundesliga and is the club’s vice-captain.
Born on 1 August 1984 in Kolbermoor in then West Germany, Schweinsteiger joined the youth set-up of small Bavarian clubs FV Oberaudorf and later TSV 1860 Rosenheim before signing for Munich’s academy aged thirteen in July 1998. He rose rapidly through the ranks at Bayern and in November 2002 he made his debut in a Champions League game against French side RC Lens.
Life and Career
Helping the German giants wins the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal double in his first season, Bastian showed real versatility in midfield, playing all across the pitch. As he continued to feature regularly, Rudi Voller chose to call him up the senior national team. He made his debut against Hungary and he went to Euro 2004 in which Germany crashed out in the group stages, despite Schweinsteiger’s creativity. Felix Magath had taken over at Bayern and somewhat controversially sent him back to the reserves, despite eye-catching displays at the 2005 Confederations Cup from Bastian. Back-to-back Bundesliga titles came to Munich before the 2006 World Cup, which Germany hosted. Schweinsteiger played a memorable part in this under Jurgen Klinsmann, scoring twice in the third-place play-off with two long range goals. Joachim Low moved up from being national assistant to head coach and dropped Bastian as he moved Lukas Podolski into a wide berth. It was at this time that he began to effectively control games from the center of the park in a bid to reclaim a starting jersey for Germany. Swapping between his old and new position for both club and country, he helped Bayern win two more Bundesliga titles and Bastian’s nation came second at Euro 2008, losing to Spain in the final. When Michael Ballack was injured before the 2010 World Cup, Schweinsteiger was the ideal replacement in an attacking central role. One of the wiser heads in a young side, Germany went all the way to semi-finals, again being beaten by Spain who went on to lift the trophy. Three assists from seven matches in the South Africa finals were the joint best. Bastian currently lives with long-term girlfriend Sarah Brandner.
Schweinsteiger’s major club honours so far are five Bundesliga titles and five DFB-Pokals with Bayern. He was also part of the Munich side that reached the 2010 UEFA Champions League final, but lost to Inter Milan.