Tuesday 21 March 2017, 10:06

Schweinsteiger makes Chicago Fire switch

Manchester United have agreed to let 2014 FIFA World Cup™ winner Bastian Schweinsteiger join Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire.

"I am sad to leave so many friends at Manchester United," Schweinsteiger told ManUtd.com. "But I am grateful to the club for allowing me the chance to take up the challenge at Chicago Fire.

"I have enjoyed working with the manager, the players and staff here and wish them all the best in the future. But I have to reserve special thanks to the United fans – whose support has been a very special part of my time in Manchester.

"I was delighted to be part of the squad that won the FA Cup for them last season and will always remember their energy and their passion. Now is the right time for me to start a new chapter in Chicago and I am looking forward to it."

Schweinsteiger made the move to the English Premier League in 2015 from German Bundesliga side Bayern Munich. The 32-year-old enjoyed a trophy-laden spell at the Bavarian club, winning eight league titles, one UEFA Champions League crown and the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup.

"We're adding someone who has won at every level, including the very highest levels, and has done so in a way that is consistent with our values," Chicago Fire general manager Nelson Rodriguez told the Chicago Tribune. "We as a club will now be forced to hold ourselves to a higher standard, and accountability level. Previously, I think we could satisfy ourselves with what is known domestically. Now we need to rise to a standard that is set more internationally."

Schweinsteiger, capped 121 times for Die Mannschaft​, called time on his international career in July 2016.