World champions Germany got their Euro 2016 campaign off to a perfect start on Sunday night by beating Ukraine 2-0.
Shkodran Mustafi gave Joachim Low’s side the lead with a powerful header early on in the first half before Bastian Schweinsteiger secured all three points with a last-minute strike.
After Mesut Ozil was set free down the left, the Arsenal star produced an inch-perfect cross to set up his midfield teammate to finish with aplomb.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay4
It was a huge moment not just for Germany, but for Schweinsteiger who, following an injury-plagued and frustrating year, needed a confidence boost.
Such was the 31-year-old’s delight that he wheeled away in celebration and sprinted the length of the pitch.
And rather embarrassingly for the Manchester United ace, he admitted that celebrating his goal completely wore him out, despite having been introduced as a fresh substitute only minutes earlier.
He said after the game, per United’s official website: “I ran so hard in the celebrations that I’m a bit out of breath still! It was amazing for that to happen, it’s the kind of thing you can only wish for, but the most important thing is the team wins.
“It’s just incredible. After all the injuries… Something like this happens.
“I can’t play for 90 or 120 minutes yet but I’m feeling like I can play. I feel really good. I think, if I stay healthy, I’ll be able to play. I hope I can play some more."
The fact Schweinsteiger was that tired after celebrating a goal just goes to show how far away from full fitness he is.
It would seem manager Low had no intention of sending the veteran forward either, and instead brought him on to control play.
According to the Independent, he added: “It wasn’t really the plan that Schweinsteiger was going to surface so far forward.
“We sent him on to try to calm things down.”
Schweinsteiger will only hope he regains full fitness before the start of the new Premier League season under Jose Mourinho - providing he isn’t sold.
Prior to his hiring as manager, the midfielder predicted a “special season” would take place next term.
“It looks like it’s going to be an interesting derby in Manchester next season,” Schweinsteiger said in May.
“The enthusiasm for football in Manchester is great and, if Mourinho does take over at United, I think all of the players want to train under him so it’s going to be quite a special season."