Bayern Munich’s midfield maestro Bastian Schweinsteiger has spoken of his admiration for Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs ahead of the European giants’ Champions League clash next week.
The German talisman, 29, hopes he can recreate the longevity of the Welshman’s career and finish playing his football for the club he supported as a child.
Schweinsteiger and 40-year-old Giggs have remained at the same clubs from youth level and have both embraced the role of elder statesmen for their successful sides, who meet in the last eight of Europe’s top club competition on April 1 in Manchester and in Germany on April 9 .
“Can I be compared to Francesco Totti or Ryan Giggs? Yes, absolutely,” Schweinsteiger told France Football.
“They are two amazing players. At 40 years of age, Giggs is still going on playing at the highest level. He is remarkable.
“I am proud to have been at just one club. Were there any moments I was close to leaving? Yes, several times. But in the end the heart made the decision. Will I terminate my career at Bayern? It is impossible to reply.”
Schweinsteiger is well on his way to enjoying similar success to Giggs, having won 15 major honours with the Bavarian giants, and he fully intends to follow the example set by one of European football’s most revered veterans.
The United legend has enjoyed a greater share of silverware in a career that has spanned 23 years including 13 Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two Champions League successes.
The United player-coach turned back the clock to play an instrumental role in ensuring his side overturned a 2-0 first leg deficit to Greek champions Olympiakos in the previous round.
Pep Guardiola’s dominant Bayern side will travel to Manchester next week full of confidence as they are not just favourites to win the tie against United, but are the front-runners to lift the European trophy.
Schweinsteiger is still regarded as one of Europe’s elite midfielders and last year helped lead his Bayern side to a record-breaking season, winning the Bundesliga, the DFB Pokal (league cup) and the Champions League.
After completing a comfortable 3-1 victory against Hertha Berlin, the number 31 celebrated winning back-to-back league titles as Munich wrapped up the domestic crown with seven games to spare.
“Here I am more than happy, but there could be surprises in the future. Moreover, I still have a few years to go on playing,” said the Germany international.
Main image courtesy of BBC via YouTube, with thanks.