When Bayern Munich destroyed Barcelona over two legs, scoring seven goals without reply, the whole world stepped back in a combination of fright and amazement. Jupp Heynckes had created an unstoppable machine that went on to achieve the unprecedented feat of winning all four trophies on offer.
Something the Bayern squad was praised for was the fact that they didn’t have one key man who the team were overly reliant on; they were a complete package. That being said, one unmistakeably key component to Bayern’s success last season was Bastian Schweinsteiger. The German central midfielder kept Bayern ticking over, winning the ball and recycling it back towards the opposition’s goal. Schweinsteiger is undoubtedly one of the best midfielders in world football.
Major honours this year
How long do you have? The German won everything with Bayern Munich last season. ‘Schweini’ won the Bundesliga, DFB Pokal and the Champions League. He was a part of one of the greatest club sides ever as Munich broke or equalled 30 records last season, including most points in the league, most wins and longest winning streak. Schweinsteiger was at the core of it all, controlling most games from the centre of midfield. Individually, Schweini won Footballer of the Year in Germany for 2013 and was nominated for UEFA Best Player last season.
Who is Bastian Schweinsteiger?
The 29-year-old was born in Kolbemoor, West Germany in 1984. He made his Bayern Munich debut in 2002 and has since appeared 452 times. He has been at theBavarian giants his entire career and was named a vice-captain to Philipp Lahm at the beginning of this season. He started his time in the Bayern first team as a winger but when Louis van Gaal arrived, he moved Schweinsteiger to the centre of midfield to make space for his two wingers, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery. It was a masterstroke and Schweinsteiger is now one of the best in that position. He will probably spend his entire career at the club and go down as one of their greatest servants.
The German midfielder, who recently received his 100th die Mannschaft cap, is an accomplished distributor of the ball, completing the most passes in the Bundesliga last season. Despite missing six matches, he completed 1741 passes in 2352 minutes. That’s one pass every 1.3 minutes. A staggering figure that shows exactly how involved he is in the all-conquering side’s passing.
Does he deserve his nomination?
Yes, definitely. He was at the heart of one of the most successful teams of all-time and won everything he could last season. Schweinsteiger is hugely important to both Bayern Munich and Germany and will be a key player for both in the coming season.
Does he have a chance of winning?
Unfortunately, no. If there were a separate award for midfielders he’d be in with a great chance. However, with the array of attacking talents on the Ballon d’Or shortlist, he has no hope of winning it. He probably never will either but he plays a huge role in how Bayern Munich function and, without him, last season may not have been possible. Any Bayern or Germany fan will tell him he doesn’t need the accolade to validate how good he has been in the past 12 months.
Related Teams: Bayern Munich