Bastian Schweinsteiger retires after long international career, 3 years with Chicago Fire

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 29: Chicago Fire midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger (31) moves into the attack during a MLS match between D.C United and the Chicago Fire, on May 29, 2019, at Audi Field, in Washington D.C. (Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

CHICAGO – For 18 years, he was one of the most recognizable players in domestic and international soccer, earning multiple awards as an individual as well as his team.

Now 35-year-old Bastian Schweinsteiger is calling it a career.

The Chicago Fire defender announced on Twitter that he’s retiring from professional soccer just after the conclusion of the MLS season. Schweinsteiger spent the majority of his career in Europe, where he won 23 major trophies, helped Germany to a World Cup title in 2014 while also getting a UEFA Champions League crown.

In what would be the final part of his career, Schweinsteiger joined the Fire in 2017 and played three seasons with the club.

“Our first choice, in the entire world, was Basti. Three seasons later, he has changed how the Chicago Fire is viewed around the globe. We are now a club of choice,” said general manager Nelson Rodriguez in a statement released from the team. “It has been an honor to have him defend our badge. Chicagoans, like those in Munich and Manchester, easily appreciated his effort, his skill and his gritty elegance. He will always be revered by our fans. Danke, Basti.”

He made an immediate impact on the club the first season, helping the Fire to their first MLS Playoffs appearance since the 2012 season. Schweinsteiger remained with the team the following two seasons, and even switched to a defender role to aid the club in 2019.

“Basti has meant so much to our Club,” said Fire owner Joe Mansueto in a statement release through the team. “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 teammate and a generational player who put Chicago Fire on the world map. I’d like to say, on behalf of the Club: Danke, Basti.”

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