German World Cup Winner, Schweinsteiger, Retires Aged 35

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Former Germany, Manchester United and Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has retired.

The 35-year-old announced his decision two days after the end of the Major League Soccer season. His club, Chicago Fire, finished 17th.

“The time has now come,” he said. “To the fans, you made this unbelievable time possible for me.”

Schweinsteiger won the 2014 World Cup with Germany, as well as eight Bundesliga titles with Bayern.

In total, he gained 121 caps for Germany between 2004 and 2016.

The midfielder played 500 times for Bayern before joining Manchester United for £14.4m in 2015 but failed to adapt to the Premier League, making 13 league starts in two years.

He was made to train with the under-23s at Old Trafford by then manager Jose Mourinho – who later said he regretted his decision.

Schweinsteiger was allowed to join Chicago Fire on a free transfer in March 2017 and scored on his debut. Fire finished third in his first season to reach the play-offs but have struggled since.

“Basti has meant so much to our club,” said Chicago Fire chairman Joe Mansueto. “It was an absolute pleasure to watch him play.

“His soccer IQ is so elite, you can see that he’s three steps ahead at every turn. He’s a leader, a great team-mate and a generational player who put Chicago Fire on the world map. I’d like to say, on behalf of the club: Danke, Basti.”

Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said “the doors at Bayern are always open” to their former player.

“A great career is coming to an end. Basti has won everything there is to win in world football,” he said.