Bastian Schweinsteiger is currently playing his final ever game for Germany.
It’s been a forgetful few months for the Manchester United midfielder, who has been forced to train alone by Jose Mourinho, but Germany’s friendly against Finland in Monchengladbach was very much Schweinsteiger’s night.
His every touch was greeted with chants of “Basti”. And the reception he received before kick-off was enough to reduce the 32-year-old to tears.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay4
Article continues below
And not just a whimper. Schweinsteiger was in floods of tears before the game got underway.
The former Bayern Munich man has had some brilliant moments in a Germany shirt, including winning the 2014 World Cup, and his 121st - and final -cap was a night to remember.
Schweinsteiger in tears
It seems a long, long time since Schweinsteiger was lifting the World Cup trophy in Brazil after Germany’s extra-time win over Argentina. His career has been on a steep nosedive since, injuries blighting his debut season and Old Trafford.
He now finds himself ostracised by Jose Mourinho, who will almost certainly let him leave next year. Schweinsteiger in a statement last week that United will be the last European team he plays for.
The manner with which the midfielder has conducted himself in the whole affair has been class. Many in his situation, with his reputation for being one of finest players of his generation, would have thrown up a fuss.
But Schweinsteiger reiterated that he will be ready to play for United whenever he’s called upon when he spoke to the media ahead of his last Germany game.
He also put to bed any talk of a rift between himself and Mourinho.
“My absolute dream would be to play for Manchester United and help them reach their goals," Schweinsteiger said, per ESPN.
"We've held talks. I don't have a problem with Jose Mourinho. We had a good exchange, he explained his standpoint to me.
“I know what Manchester United want. But I also know what I want. You will have to wait and see what happens in September, October. It's a respectful dialogue. I will definitely not stop playing football.
"One thing is for sure: I'm not going to stop playing football. I still believe in my own ability. I could still help United if given the chance."