Bastian Schweinsteiger

Schweinsteiger: United were the team for me

Monday 31 January 2022 15:13

Bastian Schweinsteiger has revealed that he always wanted to play for Manchester United – he just had to become a European champion with Bayern Munich before making the move.

The midfielder spent 13 years with the Bavarian club after his debut in 2002, making exactly 500 appearances. Only nine players, among them legends of the game like Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Muller, have pulled on the Bayern shirt more often.

Basti is a lifelong supporter of the 31-time German champions but, in a brand-new episode of the UTD Podcast, also admits to cheering on the Reds as a youngster.

Schweinsteiger: My love for Bayern & United Video

Schweinsteiger: My love for Bayern & United

Bastian is a lifelong Bayern Munich fan, but his love for United also began during his childhood in Germany...

Due to this, United were the only other side that the former midfielder saw himself turning out for, but after dominating domestically he first wanted to lift the Champions League trophy with Bayern.

He was a runner-up to Internazionale in 2010, with Louis van Gaal as the German club’s manager, and in 2012, as Bayern were beaten at their own stadium by Chelsea, but finally won the big one a year later when defeating Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund at Wembley.

After a couple of campaigns playing under Pep Guardiola in Munich, the opportunity finally came to join United under van Gaal, and Basti jumped at it.

“My biggest wish was obviously to win the Champions League,” he began. “In four years, we played three times in the final. We won a lot of titles in Germany, but I wanted to help, obviously with other players like Philipp Lahm, Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Manuel Neuer… I wanted to reach the step where you’re able to actually tell the media before the season starts: ‘Yeah we’re one of the favourites for the Champions League and we want to win it.’

“That was a big step for me and we reached that moment and actually when I felt ‘OK, we are there’, I decided to join United.”

Schweinsteiger enjoyed a good relationship with former Bayern boss and then United manager Louis van Gaal.

“It was also helping that Louis van Gaal knew me from before,” Basti added. “He was obviously the coach of Man United which I always was a fan of. Finally, then in 2015 it was happening.

“Bayern Munich also let me go. I was happy about it, that they understood my way of thinking as well.

“I enjoyed it so much at United. I remember everything quite well and like so many nice personalities, team-mates, players with the right heart and obviously the supporters are amazing as well. Unfortunately, the second season was a little bit more difficult.”

You can find out more about Basti’s time at Old Trafford by listening to the podcast, which is available in the United App now.