It is perhaps no surprise to Bayern Munich fans that birthday boy Bastian Schweinsteiger (just 33 this August 1) has been named captain of the 2017 MLS All-Star team. Schweinsteiger will lead the best of the MLS against Real Madrid in the MLS All-Star Game today at Soldier Field.
Fans were given the choice between three players nominated by head coach Veljko Paunovic, and competition was stiff. Basti narrowly beat out legendary US goalkeeper Tim Howard and forward David Villa for the honor - both of them three-time all-stars.
After two years of languishing on Manchester United’s bench and even banished to its reserves, Schweinsteiger’s first season with the Chicago Fire in the United States has been incendiary - although the Fire sadly remain a long shot to win the World Cup. With two goals and five assists to his name, and the presence in the midfield that we all know so well, Basti has lifted the team that finished dead last in the 2016-17 season to second place in the standings, even briefly seizing first place.
And it is worth adding that Schweinsteiger has been having the time of his life in Chicago off the pitch as well.
Asked about the challenge of playing the reigning Champions League victors, Schweinsteiger stated,
When you play against Real Madrid, for me ... you want to win against the best team in Europe, and if we can beat them, then maybe we can look forward to win the World Cup.
So Happy Birthday, Basti, and good luck against Real. We all know who will be the biggest soldier on Soldier Field.