Bastian Schweinsteiger has spoken about his exile from the first team at Manchester United under Jose Mourinho, noting that he maintained a positive mindset throughout.
The German, who suffered an injury-hit first season at Old Trafford, was banished from the first team upon Mourinho’s arrival last summer, with the Portuguese noting that the German was not part of his plans for the 2016/17 campaign.
He completed a move to MLS side Chicago Fire last week having made just one start for the first team all season.
And Schweinsteiger, when asked about the way his time at Man United came to an end, was quick to note that he harboured no negative sentiments towards Mourinho.
“My dream came true,” he said.
“I’m not really a negative thinker. It was a character test, that’s all.
“Even when I was training alone, just me and one of United’s fitness coaches, I loved going onto the field, doing sprints, being at the training ground.
“The manager came to speak to me. He told me something — it is not my job to say what that was — and then I was training with the first team.”
It is a real testament to Schweinsteiger’s character and raw passion for the game that, even in the face of cold – and indeed never properly explained – exclusion, he continued to smile, work hard and offer everything he could for the side.
The German had spent his entire career at the forefront of proceedings prior to joining United, serving as a midfield lynchpin at both Bayern Munich and Germany for a number of years.
One could have forgiven Schweinsteiger, therefore, for expressing some discontent at his situation, but the 32-year-old set a superb example to footballers everywhere in the way he dealt with his last few months at Old Trafford: to give everything regardless of circumstances and not possess a sense of entitlement. He will always be remembered, above anything, as a class act in the eyes of supporters.