It was bound to happen sooner or later. Today, Bastian Schweinsteiger retired from International Football today which means he will no longer be called upon to be a wizarding midfielder for the German National squad Die Mannschaft although he will continue his club career with Manchester United of the Barclay’s Premier League this season. Unlike Leo Messi’s sudden (some would say melodramatic) retirement from the Argentine National squad at 28 following four crushing defeats in Cup Finals, Schweinsteiger at 31 and battling nagging injuries is retiring without any of the questions about what might have been that will haunt Messi. Indeed, Schweinsteiger’s German teams (he was captain from 2014 until today) were routinely in the mix at World Cups(finishing third in 2006 and 2010) and European Championships after their disappointing premature knockout in the group stage at the 2004 Euros. Coincidentally Schweinsteiger and his team got over their lack of recent silverware against Messi’s Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final in what might have been his finest game as an international.

Unlike Leo Messi’s sudden (some would say melodramatic) retirement from the Argentine National squad at 28 following four crushing defeats in Cup Finals, Schweinsteiger at 31 and battling nagging injuries is retiring without any of the questions about what might have been that will haunt Messi. Indeed, Schweinsteiger’s German teams (he was captain from 2014 until today) were routinely in the mix at World Cups(finishing third in 2006 and 2010) and European Championships after their disappointing premature knockout in the group stage at the 2004 Euros. Coincidentally Schweinsteiger and his team got over their lack of recent silverware against Messi’s Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final in what might have been his finest game as an international.

That is not to say such performances were rare for the midfielder as he appeared in 120 games for Germany which is the fourth-most all-time for the country (which includes the record of West Germany during the Cold War as its own), recording 20 goals in the process. Bastian Schweinsteiger also has a special significance to me for it was an inability to say his last name correctly in the 2006 World Cup (the first one I remember watching at 11) that spurred me to follow the German side as I fell in love with their tactical, almost mechanical dominance of the game with strong midfield play which Mr. Schweinsteiger was a key part of for so many years.

However, I knew this day would probably be soon upon us when he had that uncharacteristic poor handball in the box against Host Nation France in this month’s 2016 UEFA Euro tournament. I will not remember him for that play, though, I will remember his dominance (which will hopefully show itself at Man U this season, even if my favorite club is Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain) his calm demeanor, and of course that World Cup he won in 2014. Enjoy International retirement Bastian, you certainly earned it.

Uncategorized