Monday, 8 March 2010


Many German footballers have left their mark on the World Cup; Gerd Muller, Franz Beckenbauer and Jurgen Klinsmann to name but a few. This summer may be the turn of another as Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger attempts to put his name in the FIFA record books.

At just 25 years old, Schweinsteiger is yet to reach his prime and, after a bright start to his career, has failed to make the impact on the world stage than was perhaps expected of him. However, that’s not to say he’s not tasted his fair amount of success.

Schweinsteiger was a national champion in successive years at under-17 and under-19 level, before winning his first senior honour with Bayern Munich the following season, at the tender age of just 18. Schweinsteiger’s debut season at Bayern saw him pick up both a league and cup winner’s medal and the Kolbermoor born star has since gone on to win an impressive eight major honours, achieving the Bundesliga and German cup double on four occasions.

It’s not just club football where Schweinsteiger has shown his ability, by the time he steps onto a pitch in South Africa he will be amongst the twenty highest cap winners in German football history. With 73 caps, at the age of just 25, he is more experienced on the world stage than many older international stars such as club mate Franck Ribery (42 caps), former England captain John Terry (59) and Real Madrid’s Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso (66).

Those caps have been earned on the big stage too, after making his international debut at the age of just nineteen, he reached the semi-final of his first major tournament at the 2006 World Cup and then went one step further by making the final of the European Championships in 2008, before losing out to eventual champions Spain. This time around Schweinsteiger will be looking to go one step further again and pick up yet another piece of silverware for his ever expanding trophy cabinet.

According to his player profile on Bayern Munich’s official website Bastian has all the attributes needed to conquer the world. His interests are listed as “travel and new experiences” so he shouldn’t find himself too far out of his comfort zone in South Africa this summer. His personal motto - “Never lose your belief” - will undoubtedly come in handy as his country have been drawn in a tricky group alongside Australia, Serbia and African Nations Cup runners-up, Ghana.

Combine his ‘never-give-up’ attitude with accomplished shooting and passing over great distances and Schweinsteiger could well prove to be Germany’s secret weapon.

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