Bastian Schweinsteiger (born 1 August 1984) is a German professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for English club Manchester United. A right-footed player, he usually plays as central midfielder. Earlier in his career, he primarily played as a wide midfielder.
Schweinsteiger signed with Bayern Munich as a youth team player on 1 July 1998 and rose through the club’s youth sides. A talented youth ski racer, he had to decide between pursuing a professional career in skiing or one in football. Having won the German youth championship in July 2002, Schweinsteiger quickly earned a place in the reserves, producing a string of solid third-division displays. He initially earned a reputation for being a rebel off the pitch, making headlines for the wrong reasons but has since settled down.
During his first appearances in the titular eleven, he played left-back. After just two training sessions with the first team, coach Ottmar Hitzfeld gave Schweinsteiger his debut, at the age of 18, as a late substitute in a UEFA Champions League game against RC Lens in November 2002, and the youngster made an immediate impact, creating a goal for Markus Feulner within minutes. He signed a professional contract the following month and went on to appear in 14 Bundesliga games in 2002–03, helping Bayern to a league and cup double. The next season he played 26 Bundesliga games. He scored his first Bayern goal against VfL Wolfsburg in September 2003.
Surprisingly sent back to Bayern’s reserve team by new coach Felix Magath at the beginning of the 2005–06 season despite his international exploits of the summer in the Confederations Cup, Schweinsteiger swiftly returned to play a role in the double-winning campaign and scored in Bayern’s Champions League quarter-final first-leg defeat at Chelsea.
Over the next three seasons, up until the end of 2007–08, Schweinsteiger made 135 appearances in all competitions for Bayern Munich (Champions League, Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal), scoring 10 goals in the process.
He went on to spend 13 seasons at Bayern Munich, playing in exactly 500 matches across all competitions and scoring 68 goals. His honours at the club include eight Bundesliga titles, seven DFB-Pokal titles, a UEFA Champions League title, a FIFA Club World Cup title and a UEFA Super Cup title. He joined Manchester United in 2015.
Schweinsteiger played for the German national team from 2004–2016. He is Germany’s fourth most-capped player of all time, having earned 121 caps and scored 24 goals, in a 12-year international career starting in 2004. He was selected in their squads for four European Championships and three World Cups, including their victory at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Following Philipp Lahm’s international retirement on 2 September 2014, Schweinsteiger was named captain of the national team. He retired from the national team on 29 July 2016.