Bastian Schweinsteiger has revealed the “hurt” he endured after being exiled from the Manchester United dressing room by Jose Mourinho and forced to play with the reserves.
The German legend moved to Old Trafford in 2015 to reunite with Louis van Gaal, whom he worked under at Bayern Munich, and he went on to feature 31 times for the club in his maiden season, winning the FA Cup.
However, following the appointment of Jose Mourinho the season after, Schweinsteiger was demoted to the U23s, leading to criticism aimed at the Portuguese coach for his handling of the matter, including his predecessor Van Gaal, who stated that “Schweini didn’t deserve to be treated like this”.
The once midfield maestro ultimately left Man Utd at the end of 2016/17 and crossed the Atlantic for a stateside sojourn at Chicago Fire, whom he represented for two years — making just shy of 100 appearances — before bowing out in 2019.
The 37-year-old has now reflected on that episode between himself and Mourinho, revealing his exclusion from the Man Utd dressing room actually came on his birthday, and left him “very hurt” as a result.
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Speaking on Manchester United’s official podcast, Schweinsteiger said: “It was very strange on my birthday I came to the dressing room wanted to change but then someone told me I’m not allowed to go into the dressing room and I had to change in the dressing room and had to play with the second team.
“I was very hurt because no one was talking to me. Then I was speaking to Mourinho about it and he explained something to me something which I really did not understand and it had to do with the second injury that I got.
“My first injury I got the season before I got treated by the medical department of United and then in an easy training session I got the same injury so I asked Louis Van Gaal if I could get treated in Germany because we had the Euros in 2016 coming up and it was always agreed to that.
“So I did that, I was fit, I played the Euros, I was looking forward to coming to United to play with Mourinho who twice actually wanted to buy me with Inter Milan in 2010 and then later on at Madrid.”
Schweinsteiger added that although Mourinho later apologised, the seeds of distrust between the club and himself were sown following the stand-off.
He added: “I had a lot of respect for him (Mourinho) obviously but I did not understand the situation why I was not allowed to train play with the first team because there were some different opinions about me being professional which is not true because I am professional – I showed it later on I was always training with the kids or alone.
“Mourinho apologised and said he made a mistake which of course was nice but I lost my heart and love a little bit towards the club, not the fans, not players, not the people who live in Manchester, it was not easy. If I want to do something I want to do with it with my full heart and energy. But it hurt me so much it was great pain for me and I couldn’t really trust (the club).”