The World Cup winner insists injuries and age will not limit his ability to be a success at Old Trafford, despite the public concerns of the Bayern Munich legend
Manchester United signing Bastian Schweinsteiger has dismissed Franz Beckenbauer’s suggestion that he may not have the fitness or the athleticism to adapt to Premier League football in his 30s.
Schweinsteiger ended his 17-year association with Bayern Munich by completing a £12 million move to Old Trafford earlier this month, and will become the first German to represent United at senior level.
When asked about Schweinsteiger’s ability to shine in England, Beckenbauer replied: “I find it very brave to make a move like this at his age. People know Schweinsteiger at Bayern and know what he can do. That’s not the case in England. He will have to prove himself all over again.
“Basti is 30 years old at the moment. I wish him all the best and hope he can represent German football well in England. Not a lot of players have succeeded in doing so. A move to MLS would have made more sense for me. He has to make sure he becomes fully match fit again and recharge his battery.”
But Schweinsteiger himself insists he has no such concerns. “I don’t know when Beckenbauer moved to America to New York Comsos at 32. I am 30,” he told reporters.
“It is a challenge for me. I feel very good. I had last year the thing with my knee after the World Cup which was very intensive for me and I had a break at October.
“But from that time on I had no injury, I was fit and felt fit at the end. Of course sometimes when you are getting older you need a little more time for recovery, maybe half a day more than 20-year-old players so that’s normal. But I think I have a lot of experience, especially of the big matches and that is an advantage always.
“I am confident. My style of play is to control a game. You have to be smart in your brain and fast. For me it is very important to control a situation in defence. You can always score goals but you have to add stability in the defence.”
Schweinsteiger is the most illustrious name to occupy the heart of United’s midfield since the retirement of club legend Paul Scholes, and he has warned Red Devils fans not to expect the same level of contribution from him.
“Not easy to say it can happen the same again,” he added. “Roy Keane and Paul Scholes were unbelievable players. You cannot compare yourself to them. It is impossible. Scholes especially, I like him a lot and I have a lot of respect for what he did for United.”