New Manchester United star Bastian Schweinsteiger has endeared himself to Manchester United fans during a press conference in the United States, saying his new club is “bigger” than former employers Bayern Munich.
After the transfer of the World Cup winner, Bayern’s honorary president Franz Beckenbauer suggested that Schweinsteiger would have been more suited to a move to the MLS, where the standard of play is lower.
“I find it very brave to make a move like this at his age,” Beckenbauer said about the 30-year-old.
“People know Schweinsteiger at Bayern and know what he can do. That’s not the case in England. He will have to prove himself all over again.”
“Basti is 30 years old at the moment. I wish him all the best and hope he can represent German football well in England. Not a lot of players have succeeded in doing so. A move to MLS [in the USA] would have made more sense to me.”
Beckenbauer moved to the now-defunct North American Soccer League in 1977 to play for he New York Cosmos, aged 31, but Schweinsteiger feels he still has plenty to offer.
“I don’t know when Beckenbauer moved to America,” Schweinsteiger said.
“I am 30. It is a challenge for me to prove I can do it here. I had my knee trouble after the World Cup which was very intensive for me and I had a break at October. But I have a lot of experience in big matches and that is an advantage.”
“I had the chance [to join United] in 2010. I thought about what to do. There were opportunities. My goal was always to win the Champions League with my club Bayern Munich. Now I am happy to be here.”
“My brother is a huge Manchester United fan. He is a big Eric Cantona and Ryan Giggs fan,” Schweinsteiger continued.
“It was always a dream to be a Manchester United player. I saw the 1999 Champions League final [United beat Bayern 2-1 in Barcelona] at home.”
“My brother had the United jersey on hand, I had Bayern’s. I didn’t cry but my brother was very happy. I always followed the Premier League and we watched a lot of United games for my brother.”
“I am confident I can adjust to the Premier League. My style of play is to control a game. You have to be smart in your brain and fast.”
“I know the club are looking forward to winning titles again and I am the same.”
“That is my goal for my time here. I want to win titles and this is what Manchester United is used to and I am the same.”
Schweinsteiger has been the star addition of a major summer overhaul at Old Trafford, with Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin and Torino right-back Matteo Darmian joining early recruit Memphis Depay at the club.
With another central defender and a striker expected to join before the transfer window closes, the squad looks to have a far better balance than in the last two seasons.
Schweinsteiger has been accustomed to winning trophies at Bayern Munich and expects to do the same at Old Trafford – although he knows they can take nothing for granted.
“I cannot guarantee titles but I will guarantee that we will do everything to be successful in the season. I want to make a positive impact. I think I can contribute a lot to the team.”
“United are the biggest club in the world and I am sure this team has the quality to win titles,” he said. “United are more popular around the world. There is a difference and I could see that.”
“Bayern Munich is a big club but Manchester United is bigger. When we were in China people knew us but Bayern were not so big in America.”