Tuesday was a momentous day for Bastian Schweinsteiger. The midfielder made his 100th appearance in a Die Nationalmannschaft's trikot in Germany's final World Cup Qualifier away to Sweden. While we won't get into the specifics of the game, the Germans ended their qualifying campaign unbeaten for the second straight time with a 5-3 victory over the Swedes.
The evolution of Schweinsteiger's play with the national team over the last decade has seen him go from a left sided winger to a central midfielder. There is zero doubt in your humble author's opinion that Schweinsteiger is the world's best at his position. He's Germany's anchor. He's Bayern's anchor. Everyone loves him.
While there are many great memories of Bastian, one of my favorites was when he announced his extension with FC Bayern after rumors had been swirling that he would leave FCB for another club. Susie Schaaf of ESPN FC included it in her fantastic piece about his 100th cap.
And finally, stealing the mike from stadium announcer Stephan Lehmann after a December 2010 match against St. Pauli, and announcing to the 69,000 faithful that he would extend his contract with Bayern Munich.
"My heart is red through and through," he said as he kissed his badge. "when I arrive at the Saebener Strasse, it's like coming home." I bawled like a baby, clutching a now-cold cup of Gluehwein at the news. My friends looked at me like I was a crazy person, as I wiped my tears with my Bayern Schal.
He now sits in 9th place on the "Most Capped Players" list for Germany. While it's very unlikely that he'll pass Lothar Matthäus and Miroslav Klose on the list, the likelihood that Schweinsteiger finds himself in third on the list by the time he calls it quits is very likely.
Auf geht's, Basti!