Bastian Schweinsteiger (born August 1, 1984 in Kolbermoor,
Bavaria, Germany) is a professional footballer who currently
plays midfield for Bayern Munich and Germany.
Schweinsteiger signed for Bayern Munich as a youth team player
on July 1, 1998 and rose through the club's youth sides. Having
won the German youth championship in July 2002, Schweinsteiger
quickly earned a place in the reserves, producing a string of
solid third division displays.
After just two training sessions with the first team, coach
Ottmar Hitzfeld gave Schweinsteiger his debut as a late
substitute in a UEFA Champions League game against RC Lens in
November 2002, and the youngster made an immediate impact,
creating a goal for Markus Feulner within minutes. He signed a
professional contract the following month and went on to appear
in 14 Bundesliga games in 2002/03, helping Bayern to a league
and cup double. The next season he played 26 Bundesliga games.
Schweinsteiger scored his first Bayern goal against VfL
Wolfsburg in September 2003
Surprisingly sent back to Bayern's amateurs by new coach Felix
Magath at the beginning of the 2004/05 season despite his
international exploits of the summer in the Confederations Cup,
Schweinsteiger swiftly returned to play a role in the double-winning
campaign and scored in Bayern's Champions League quarter-final
first-leg defeat at Chelsea FC.
He made his international debut in 2004 in a friendly against
Hungary. Bayern's number 31 earned rave reviews for his Euro
2004 performances in Portugal, showing combative skills and even
setting up the opening goal for Bayern teammate Michael Ballack
in Germany's 2-1 loss against the Czech Republic.
He scored his first two international goals on June 8, 2005
against Russia and scored his first goal at a major tournament
against Tunisia on June 18, 2005 at the Confederations Cup in
Schweinsteiger has been hailed as the new Stefan Effenberg, and
he indeed bears a resemblance to the great Bayern star not only
in his looks, but his playing style as well.