Jose Mourinho’s treatment of Bastian Schweinsteiger has been largely brushed under the carpet, instead replaced in the back pages by Manchester United’s transfer activity.
The Portuguese has banished the World Cup winner, demoting him to the reserve team and forbidding him from training with the first team squad.
Given Schweinsteiger’s reputation as one of the finest midfielders in the 21st century, it’s a remarkable turn of events and a miserable stain on his career.
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The 32-year-old has taken his ordeal incredibly well, tweeting his congratulations after United’s 2-1 win in the Community Shield and offering support ahead of their Premier League opener at Bournemouth.
Others, though, are furious with Mourinho. Tobias Schweinsteiger, Bastian’s brother, appeared to express his anger by tweeting, “no respect,” and Manuel Neuer has become the latest to criticise the United boss.
“I cannot understand it,” Neuer, Schweinsteiger’s former Bayern Munich teammate, told Bild.
“Basti is a super player and an important man with a lot of experience, which is very important for the team. I can therefore not understand this decision at all.”
It speaks volumes of Schweinsteiger’s status that Neuer is willing to challenge Mourinho’s decision. The midfielder has won the World Cup, Champions League and eight Bundesliga titles; it’s no surprise that those close to him are unhappy at the apparent disrespect he’s receiving.
Mourinho has made it clear that he wants the former Bayern Munich midfielder to find a new club but he certainly could have sent his message with a little more class.