Ahead of his final turnout for Germany, Bastian Schweinsteiger said yesterday he would not give up on his dream of playing for Manchester United again – despite his exile by the English club’s manager, Jose Mourinho.
Germany’s friendly against Finland, in Moenchengladbach tonight, doubles as Schweinsteiger’s farewell on his 121st – and final – international appearance when he will captain Germany for the last time.
The 32-year-old, who left Bayern Munich for Manchester in 2015, has a United contract running until 2018, but new coach Mourinho banished him to the U23 team early this month, insisting the soon-to-be ex-Germany captain was not in his plans.
Schweinsteiger said he would keep waiting for his chance at Old Trafford and insisted that he had no problem with Mourinho.
“My dream is to play for Manchester United and help them reach their goals,” Schweinsteiger said at a German FA news conference in Duesseldorf.
“I have had conversations [with the club] and I have no problem with Jose Mourinho, he has explained the situation to me from his perspective. We have to wait to see what happens in September and October and how things will develop, but I will not stop playing football.”
While Schweinsteiger will bide his time in Manchester, he said a move to the US and the North American league (MLS) could be an option in the future.
“The transfer window [MSL] has already closed, so there’s nothing there,” he said. “My dream remains to play for United.
“Mourinho showered [the 34-yearold Zlatan] Ibrahimovic with praise for still playing and if I get a fair chance, I believe in my abilities. It would be a dream to once more show the [United] fans what I can do,” he said.
“In the last year, things went well [at United] until I was banned [from the first-team].
“We have to see how the situation goes, but of course the US is an option.”
Schweinsteiger said he would not let the situation at Old Trafford get him down and that he had experienced worst moments in his career.
“I believe that things are good with me, despite the current situation,” he said.
“I think about the Champions League final in Munich [when Bayern lost to Chelsea on penalties in 2012], which was more difficult to get over. I’ve mellowed and know how to deal with these situations.
“Football is not only highs, but also lows, it is a hard business,” he said.”
For now, Schweinsteiger is set to bow out tonight after more than 12 years in the famous white shirt of Germany.
“I am looking forward to the evening,” he said. “I will be pleased to see every fan at the game, the atmosphere and singing the anthem.
“I don’t know how many minutes I’ll play. I haven’t played [this season], so I don’t know how the lungs will hold up.”
Coach Joachim Löw has said he will name Schweinsteiger’s replacement as Germany captain after tonight’s game.