Five things... Bastian Schweinsteiger can do while he's not playing for Manchester United


Go shopping

He’s had a good run at it, but it appears that Bastian Schweinsteiger’s days playing football are behind him. And refreshingly, he doesn’t seem remotely bothered about it. Dropped from Manchester United’s first-team squad by new manager Jose Mourinho, the midfielder’s announcement that the Red Devils will be his “last club in Europe” rather limits his options for a future move. The Chinese transfer window has closed, MLS clubs tend to favour signings who don’t have another three years left to run on a £200,000-a-week contract and Police Machine just don’t have that kind of money. So Schweinsteiger looks set to remain at Old Trafford, with nothing to do but manfully attempt to spend that £200,000 a week. It’s all excellent news for the Trafford Centre branch of Debenhams.

Watch tennis

Within a close-knit football squad there are certain things you just don’t do, such as cynically foul people in training, make love to a team-mate’s wife or go and watch tennis matches. Few outside football actually knew about the last one until Thursday, when it was reported that Bastian had greatly annoyed his United team-mates by watching his Grand Slam-winning wife, the lovely Ana Ivanovic, in action. Apparently, the “furious senior Old Trafford stars” told Schweinsteiger “in no uncertain terms” that his behaviour was unacceptable. Watching tennis, as he should well have known, was the ultimate faux-pas for a footballer. It doesn’t matter anymore though. Schweini has been frozen out, so he can watch as much tennis as he likes (see photo above).

Watch football

League titles, FA Cups, Champions Leagues, World Cups. You name it, Basti has won it. So while it might be slightly annoying that Jose Mourinho isn’t letting him play football anymore, it’s not as if Schweinsteiger is missing out on much by not taking part in the Europa League. In fact, he seems more than happy just watching. Despite not taking part on the pitch, Basti has attended all United’s home games this season and was spotted sitting with the fans for the 2-0 win against Southampton. Schweinsteiger likes football - in fact he was a boyhood United fan - so this is a great opportunity to take in a few matches. You can expect him to come up with an anti-Fellaini chant any day now.

Make cakes

Basti loves a birthday, whether it’s his own or someone else’s. Renowned at Old Trafford and beyond for his endearing ability to remember his team-mates’ special day, the midfielder’s Twitter account is peppered with heartfelt greetings sent to everyone from Michael Carrick to Kevin Grosskreutz. He’s a bit like the guy on Facebook who leaves a birthday message for all of his “friends”, even the ones he barely knows, just because he’s nice (and also because he wants to maximise the birthday wishes on his Wall when the big day comes so he can look popular). Most impressively, Schweinsteiger has maintained this dedication to birthdays during an action-packed career. So imagine what he will be capable of with all his new-found free time. The next big Old Trafford birthday will be Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s 35th on 3 October. The cake is going to be spectacular.

Refute bestiality allegations

“Did you know his name means pig f***** in German?” is one of the most commonly heard “facts” you’ll hear about Mr Schweinsteiger. It doesn’t mean that, obviously. It’s not conceivable that people - even Germans - would have names broadcasting that they have sex with farmyard animals. Another theory is that the name means pig climber, but although this evokes a beautiful image of Bastian climbing onto a pig it sadly doesn’t mean this either. The most accurate translation of Schweinsteiger would be pig raiser or pig breeder (as in a pig farmer, as opposed to someone who breeds with pigs). Basti isn’t a pig farmer either, although he actually does have time to become one now that he never plays football.

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