Bastian Schweinsteiger was visibly left baffled by a question during his Chicago Fire unveiling, as the former Manchester United midfielder was asked if his arrival in the MLS meant that his new side can now win the World Cup.
Unsurprisingly, Schweinsteiger was left speechless, and even when those around him tried to rephrase the question in a way that did not ask if a club could win international football’s biggest tournament – something that is impossible – the journalist still managed to leave Schweinsteiger confused.
The incident occurred during Schweinsteiger’s unveiling as a Chicago Fire player, having completed his move from United this week after being granted a United States visa. The Premier League side allowed Schweinsteiger to leave the club early, given that he has barely figured in Jose Mourinho’s plans this season and has not made a single Premier League appearance in 2016/17.
Upon his arrival in Chicago, Schweinsteiger trained with his new teammates before facing the media, where he faced more than he will have bargained for.
Schweinsteiger was asked: “With your addition to this team, is it a fair expectation to see a clear pathway towards a World Cup competition come out of Chicago?
Schweinsteiger initially looked perplexed, before a club official interjected to tell him “He’s referring to the Club World Cup”. The problem is, he wasn’t.
“Let me rephrase,” the journalist adds. “Do you expect now that you’re here, Bastian, that a World Cup goal for Chicago Fire is a realistic expectation?”
The club official again comes to Schweinsteiger’s rescue as he reminds the journalist that Chicago Fire do not and cannot play in the World Cup, and instead asks Schweinsteiger’s thoughts on their MLS chances.
The official said: “Not the World Cup, we as a club do not play for the World Cup but we’ll adjust it to MLS Cup. Do you think the MLS Cup is a realistic expectation?
Finally, happy with a question that made sense, Schweinsteiger answered: “I think in football everything is realistic, and I always believe in the team which I play for that you can win the game even if it’s against the best team in the world, you have a chance to win. I experienced that a lot in my career that everything is possible and of course I’m not here saying ‘we will win the league’, that’s not my way. I want to win the next match, by match to match to match and see at the end of the day where we are, and that’s all what I can do and I think what we can do.”
But it didn’t end there. The World Cup winner was asked by a different journalist: “Do you plan in the future to represent your country again in international play?”
Now this would be a perfectly reasonable question, had Schweinsteiger not announced his international retirement earlier this season.
“My country?” asks a confused Schweinsteiger. “I’ve retired already from the national team. I said goodbye to Mr Joachim Löw, the coach of Germany, so that’s done.”
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