Manchester United fans gave Bastian Schweinsteiger a warm welcome after the German made his first appearance since March against West Ham United on Wednesday night.
The 32-year-old was immediately omitted from the first-team by Jose Mourinho over the summer, with the Portuguese making it clear that the midfielder was not part of his plans for this season.
But after breaching the first-team earlier this month, before eventually sealing a place in the match-day squad, Schweinsteiger was handed an opportunity to impress from the bench against West Ham.
Man United fans, always supportive of the German throughout his absence, were quick to herald the return of the Deutscher Fußballmeister.
Bastian Schweinsteiger is back on the pitch for Manchester United. What a night of entertainment. Perfect ending.
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) November 30, 2016
What a reception for Schweinsteiger. https://t.co/5mgf1p7iZV
— UnitedReview (@TheUtdReview) November 30, 2016
Zlatan having a little hug with Rooney and Schweinsteiger. Lovely old man scenes.
— Paul (@NQATPaul) November 30, 2016
Schweinsteiger has been nothing but loyal to this club & shown unbelievable patience. He deserves this! ???????????????????? #Fussballgott
— Manchester United (@ManUnitedWorld) November 30, 2016
— Tobi Schweinsteiger (@tobits7) November 30, 2016
Schweinsteiger!!! WE LOVE YOU!!!
— CurtisB (@CurtisB_MUFC) November 30, 2016
Schweinsteiger has experienced a truly unique few months under Mourinho. Paradoxically, the German has been ubiquitous without even playing this season. His name has refused to disappear from the mouths of supporters and pundits, even if it seemed as if his career was indeed vanishing before his eyes at Old Trafford.
United fans, prior to the game with Slaven Bilic’s men, were reduced to shots of the German training in his personal gym and smiling in a box at Old Trafford before games. This was literally all we saw of Schweinsteiger.
And then, all of a sudden, there he was, eagerly making his way onto the pitch whilst handing out instructions. His introduction prompted perhaps the biggest cheer of the evening: those at Old Trafford knew that the German had laboured and suffered to get here, and that this was a moment to savour.