This week’s announcement by Bastian Schweinsteiger that he is retiring from football is probably the most significant change to happen in the future of the Chicago Fire. The 35-year-old German announced his retirement on social media about an hour before Chicago Fire’s formal announcement of their return to the Soldier Field.
During Schweinsteiger’s career, he varied in positions between the wide midfielder and central midfielder. The German signed with Bayern Munich in 1988 as a youth team player. Soccer was a career path which the youngster has chosen above ski racing, another sport in which he excelled. He managed to move up in the ranks at Bayern Munich and during his early career often managed to land up in the papers as a rebel on the field. He has grown since then, and the insurgent was no longer seen, only an excellent player with a significant influence on the team. At the age of 18, Schweinsteiger had his first opportunity to debut in the UEFA Champions League.
The team was up against RC Lens, and Schweinsteiger made a significant impact immediately when he created a goal for Markus Feulner within the first couple of minutes of play. This led to him signing his professional contract the next month. Most of his career was spent playing for Bayern Munich, and during the period of 17 seasons, he represented the team on the field for 500 matches and scored 68 goals. During this period, he also served the national team of Germany and was captaining them from 2014 onwards. Between 2004 and 2016 Schweinsteiger was involved in winning eight Bundesliga titles, a UEFA Champions League title, seven DFB-Pokal titles a UEFA Super Cup and a FIFA World Cup title. During 2015 the star signed with Manchester United where he played for only 18 months before moving on to Chicago Fire.
Playing for Major League Soccer, Schweinsteiger debuted in 2017 when the club took on Montreal Impact, a game that ended in a 2-2 draw. Due to his brilliant success in assisting with guiding the club towards the top, his contract was extended for another year. Schweinsteiger is still a very successful and influential player, and it is sad to see him leave.
Schweinsteiger is the man who placed Chicago Fire on the map. He scored eight goals for the club and had 15 assists while playing in 85 MLS matches. As Don Garber, MLS Commissioner stated, he is one of the greatest players in the history of football. Garber also noted that it was an honour to have Schweinsteiger in the League. Also, Joe Mansueto, owner of the Fires, stated his appreciation for the significant contribution which Schweinsteiger made to the club. Schweinsteiger noted on Twitter that he is sad to leave but to look forward to the changes ahead in the future and always promised to remain faithful to the sport.