Bastian Schweinsteiger took part in his Bayern Munich testimonial against his current side Chicago Fire on 28th  August, Tuesday at Allianz Arena, former home of the 34-year old German international.

The 34-year-old spent 17 years with Bayern, joining aged 13, before leaving for Manchester United in 2015. Bastian Schweinsteiger had spent an ultimately disappointing 18 months at Manchester United, but as it turns out, as per his post-match comments, the Man Utd spell has not had much of an effect on him.

After spending 17 years with Bayern Munich, the club he had joined aged 13, he finally bid an emotional farewell to Bayern Munich as the Chicago Fire midfielder played for both sides in his testimonial match. The midfielder made 500 appearances for Bayern, scoring 69 goals and assisting 100. He won 22 major honors in total, including seven domestic doubles and the 2013 Champions League. He won 121 caps for Germany and lifted the World Cup in 2014, announcing his international retirement after the Euro 2016 finals. The Allianz was lit up in red and illuminated with the number 31, the jersey made famous by Schweinsteiger in his 17 years at the club, to mark the occasion. 

On Sunday, the ex-Germany captain was awarded the Bavarian Order of Merit. He was inducted into the Bayern’s Hall of Fame as the 18th member of the club’s prestigious association, joining club legends such as Franz Beckenbauer, Gerhard Muller, Sepp Maier, Lothar Matthaus and Philipp Lahm.

Schweinsteiger played the first half of his testimonial for the MLS side Chicago Fire. The former Germany international then swapped sides at half-time in the encounter, which the Bundesliga side won 4-0, with the final goal coming off the foot of the ‘man of the moment’. After Arjen Robben had made it 3-0, the sell-out crowd had at Bayern’s Allianz Arena had begun chanting: “Bastian Schweinsteiger – score a goal!” With seven minutes left, he fired home from David Alaba’s cross with a spectacular volley. 

While most of the game was played on a positive note, there was a moment when the game went awry as Leon Goretzka of Munich suffered what appeared to be a minor ankle injury in the first half. Goreztka was brought down hard by Christian Dean near Chicago’s goal line. He was then replaced by Woo-Yeong Jeong. Hopefully, he has suffered nothing more than a sprained ankle and it did not appear to be anything more serious as he was able to walk off the pitch on his own which is usually a good sign.

The former Number 31 then addressed the Allianz Arena crowd, as he stood next to his wife, the professional tennis player Ana Ivanovic, “I am one of you and I will always be,” he told Bayern fans after the match. Speaking as he held back tears following a video montage featuring messages from Bayern and Germany icons to their “Fussballgott” (football god), Schweinsteiger added: “My past belongs only to Bayern and nobody else. Without you, I wouldn’t be here.”

The Bayern legend had arrived at Old Trafford amid great fanfare after being signed by Louis van Gaal for £14.4 million in the summer of 2015. Unfortunately, his debut season was mired by injury and he failed to ever truly threaten to break into the first team under Jose Mourinho. He made 35 appearances before moving to the United States on a free transfer in March 2017.

Bastian Schweinsteiger is now in his second year at Chicago after having retired from international duty in 2016.

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