Bastian Schweinsteiger’s 18-month spell at Manchester United will not go down as a success. Sadly, for a player of such ability and experience, he was unable to force his way into Jose Mourinho’s plans and build on a stop-start maiden campaign under Louis van Gaal.
At the age of 32, there is no doubt that he is past his best, though he still clearly has something to offer and jumped at the chance to open a new chapter of his career in the United States.
Many felt that Mourinho’s treatment of the legendary World Cup-winning midfielder was harsh and that the player clearly deserved better treatment given all that he’s achieved and his dedication to training despite not being involved.
Just days after the former Bayern Munich man departed for Chicago Mourinho admitted his regret at freezing him out of the side in the way he did, clearly feeling that Schweinsteiger could have offered something.
And he claimed that he allowed the midfielder to move on last month in order to make up for lost time and as an apology of sorts for his behaviour.
“He is in the category of players I feel sorry for something I did to him. I don’t want to speak about him as a player, I don’t want to speak about him as a player I would or would not buy. I want to speak about him as a professional, as a human being,” Mourinho said.
“It was the last thing I told him before he left – I was not right with you once, I have to be right to you now.”
And now that he has settled into his new life in the States, Schweinsteiger has given his response to the comments made by his former manager by insisting that the Special One hadn’t said anything that the two hadn’t already discussed in private.
However, in doing so, he praised Mourinho for showing his character and integrity before wishing the Red Devils the best of luck for the rest of the season.
“He spoke to me, so it was nothing new for me, but it shows his character,” he said via Squawka.
“Of course it was an unfortunate situation, for both of us, but I hope the best for United. I hope they can qualify for Champions League. I’m always watching whenever they play and I hope that they’re going to win.”
Fair play to him for that. His professionalism shone through during his exile from the first team and hopefully, he will be able to make a success of himself in the American top flight.