The Fußballgott is back and Schweinsteiger described it as a “super feeling.” Basti, the feeling is mutual.
You could tell that there was a special atmosphere building up even before Schweinsteiger’s arrival. When he took the stage to unveil his star and receive his jacket, it didn’t feel like a media event or an “obligatory process” for someone who has spent a lot of time there; it felt like a family event.
You could tell that Schweinsteiger was back home. He told the audience,
It’s really, really nice to have been back at Säbener Straße and today at the Allianz Arena.
Asked whether he missed Germany, he added,
Yes, of course, I miss Germany, and especially Munich, Bayern. You miss certain things. It’s beautiful in America. It’s different, but you miss small things like the lakes, the mountains, the air, the food a bit too, and of course family and friends.
Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge fondly recalled the time when Schweinsteiger first arrived at the club:
I first noticed him around 20 years ago when he came to FC Bayern. He was in the youth division at the time and he became German champion both with the U17, the B-Juniors, and then with the A-Juniors, now the U19 team. And particularly in the final against VfB Stuttgart, I can still recall — Uli and I were there — you saw that it was a fantastic team and from this team there were some players who came up — or rather who made the leap to the first team and found their place under Ottmar Hitzfeld and Louis van Gaal.
Hoeness reflected on how deeply moved he was by the fact that Schweinsteiger had singled him out specifically for thanks after he won the World Cup:
It was a special situation for me at the time. For me it was incredibly — almost touching that a player who had just won the World Cup had nothing better to do other than greet me. That was really a fine thing.
But while the event threatened to end in tears of nostalgia all around, there were of course the obligatory parts of the ceremony to be performed, starting with the unveiling of Schweinsteiger’s Hall of Fame star:
That was followed by Schweinteiger receiving his red “Bayern legends” Bavarian jacket. The verdict? “The jacket fits”:
You can experience a full walkthrough of the events, with further quotes from all involved, in the photo gallery below:
- Schweinsteiger stands with Hoeness and Rumenigge at the start of the Hall of Fame induction
- Schweinsteiger on how it feels to be back in Munich: It’s a super feeling to be back home. Especially seeing seeing friends again, seeing family again, being in the city of Munich, feeling the air. And it’s really, really nice to have been back at Säbener Straße and today at the Allianz Arena.
- Schweinsteiger presents his World Cup winners medal as the “piece of memorabilia” every player who is inducted into the HOF brings from their active time at Bayern.
- While Schweinteiger carefully arranges his World Cup medal he is reassured that he will get it back, as far as we know it did not go missing.
- Yes Schweini it looks pretty good.
- All smiles for the unveiling of his HOF star.
- Schweini takes a moment to himself.
- Two thumbs up is what we were thinking when Hoeness spoke about Schweinsteiger’s future later on: Well, first of all, he’ll have to decide when he ends his career. When he’s really got that behind him and decides where he wants to live in the future, whether in Europe, the USA, or wherever. If Bastian really wants to do something at FC Bayern, as long as we — if we are here, we’ll always welcome the opportunity, because the club can’t have enough people who are so tied to FC Bayern. While Schweinsteiger said he would not rule it out, he added that he would have to consult his wife, former tennis star Anna Ivanovic.
- Schweinsteiger on how it feels to wear the legend’s jacket: Of course it’s a great honor, particularly at such a great club, to join the Hall of Fame with all the other eminent personages. The jacket fits very, very well. So... the tailors did a good job [laughing]. It’s a fantastic moment for me. I’m very proud to be here, especially since I’m from nearby it means a lot for me.
- To pick up on a point there: it fits so good, not only because of the great tailor, but because he has put together exactly the type of career at Bayern that should fill out a HOF jacket.
- Schweinsteiger sharing the moment with two men who helped him grow from a crazy young kid who played on the left flank, to a World Cup and Champions League winning player general in the middle. Someone who may not have been the official captain, but never needed the armband to be the heart of the team.
- Welcome into the Bayern HOF Fussballgott! Maybe years down the line he will be the one flanking some youth player whose career he followed from it’s roots.
What remained after the event was a very satisfying feeling: for all the business and politics of football, when you sometimes feel that there no longer is a strong relationship between clubs and their players, there is still a human side to be found. Bastian Schweinsteiger embodies that for Bayern Munich.
What you could really feel was that Schweinsteiger, whose career had been significantly shaped by the two men flanking him, had a great appreciation for them and vice versa. The idea that he could potentially be part of a duo to succeed Bayern’s current two leaders was never so vivid. Perhaps he will take over from Hoeness and Lahm from Rumenigge in time, it certainly doesn’t seem like a crazy or overly “romantic” idea.
Basti: Mia san Mia, you always will be part of FCB.
—Paddy P, reporting from the Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany.