Returning Schweinsteiger thanks Bayern fans

The midfielder was greeted with a standing ovation at the Allianz Arena after making his first appearance for the club since last season because of a knee injury

Bastian Schweinsteiger paid tribute to Bayern Munich ‘s supporters after the ovation he received on his return from injury on Saturday.

The 30-year-old came off the bench to make his first competitive appearance of the season in the German champions’ 4-0 Bundesliga victory over Hoffenheim at the Allianz Arena, after recovering from a long-term knee injury.

Schweinsteiger has played his entire career with Bayern and he was afforded a rousing reception by the club’s faithful when he entered the fray for Mario Gotze in the 77th minute.

“Of course it has really touched my heart to be received by the fans,” he said after the match.

“It was nice to stand on the pitch again and it is all the more beautiful because we won. Such moments you never forget.”

Bayern’s victory, which opened up a seven-point gap to second-placed Wolfsburg, was always likely after goals from Gotze and Robert Lewandowski left Pep Guardiola’s men 2-0 ahead by half-time.

Arjen Robben and Sebastian Rode added further gloss in the latter stages, before the visitors’ misery was compounded with a red card for Adam Szalai.

“I’m feeling good, I’m in good shape, I’m fit and I’m up for playing football,” Gotze stated. “That’s the decisive thing. The rest follows automatically.

“I’m delighted we’ve taken the points today and that we’re still up there at the top. That’s the priority, and hopefully we can keep it up.”

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