Longtime German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is calling it a career.
The Chicago Fire announced Tuesday that the 35-year-old is retiring from football after an 18-year career in the sport. Schweinsteiger recorded 619 first-team appearances throughout his career which saw stops at Bayern Munich, Manchester United, and the Fire.
“Basti has meant so much to our Club,” Chicago Fire Owner and Chairman Joe Mansueto said. “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.”
The 35-year-old lifted 23 major professional trophies in his career including one FIFA World Cup with Germany and one UEFA Champions League with Bayern Munich. He scored 78 goals and added 118 assists in his professional career, while also scoring 24 goals in 121 caps for his country.
“It was a great pleasure and experience working with Basti during the last three years, and we’re honored that we accompanied him in his last adventure as a fútbol player,” Chicago Fire Head Coach Veljko Paunović said. “Although we celebrate with him the culmination of a career filled with success, greatness and charisma, we’re very sad that he’s leaving. We will always remember the powerful moment when he announced his retirement to the team in the locker room after the game against Orlando.”
“It’s a memory that will last a lifetime. Through his love and knowledge of the game and his experience, Bastian was a great resource for everyone in our Club, and I personally feel like I’ve learned a lot from him. We’re happy that we can proudly say that ‘Die Fussballgott’ will be a part of our fútbol family forever. Danke, Basti.”
Schweinsteiger played three seasons in Chicago, totaling 85 appearances in league play while scoring eight goals and adding 15 assists. He was named to the MLS All-Star Team in two of his three seasons with the Fire.
The club did not qualify for the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs after a disappointing season.