Chicago Fire-bound World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger has bid a fond and heartfelt farewell to Manchester United and the club's fans after agreeing his Old Trafford exit to the United States.
Despite never hitting the heights of his Bayern Munich career in England, largely due to injury in his first season and relegation to a back-up role in his second, Schweinsteiger had built up a strong rapport with supporters and club in general has made sure to express his gratitude.
"I am sad to leave so many friends at Manchester United. But I am grateful to the club for allowing me the chance to take up the challenge at Chicago Fire," the 32-year-old explained in a statement released by ManUtd.com.
"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."
All the best SCHNACK 😂Hope you enjoy the next chapter of your journey mate 🤘🏾 pic.twitter.com/O1A8bIsMyX— Ashley Young (@youngy18) March 21, 2017
Brought to England by Louis van Gaal in 2015, Schweinsteiger was famously banished from the United squad by Jose Mourinho after he quickly deemed the veteran midfielder surplus to requirement upon taking over last May.
Schweinsteiger remained an active supporter of the team on social media, though, maintained the utmost professionalism despite the unsavoury situation, and was eventually recalled to the squad in late October.
His first appearance of the season was then greeted with a standing ovation from the Old Trafford crowd when he came off the bench in an EFL Cup tie against West Ham.
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