In this week’s Game Breakers feature Soccer Laduma discusses whether Bastian Schweinsteiger can lead Germany’s ‘golden generation’ finally to glory at the World Cup in Brazil.
Bastian Schweinsteiger is one of the symbols for a new attacking style of football of the German national team.
While earlier teams were known for discipline and hard fought victories, the new German generation convinced with beautiful attacking football.
However, they were not able to turn their style-of-play into silverware. At the 2006 World Cup, Schweinsteiger was part of the team which finished third on home soil.
He shot into prominence at the tournament by starting in all but one of Germany’s games and through two brilliant long-range strikes in the third place playoff.
At the age of 22, he had already played 41 games for the German national team, a record for any German player at the time, but later broken by Lukas Podolski.
In 2010, his club coach Louis van Gaal transformed him from an attacking winger to a central midfielder. Through the injury of Michael Ballack, Scheinsteiger was used as holding midfielder during the tournament in South Africa.
He performed brilliantly in the Ballack role, adding valuable leadership and international experience to a young Germany side. He was named the Man of the Match in Germany’s 4-0 thrashing of Argentina, where he provided two assists while also containing Lionel Messi.
Overall he recorded three assists - the shared most - and was nominated as one of ten finalists for the prestigious Golden Ball award.
But Germany again failed at the final step and Schweinsteiger and his teammates seemed to struggle to perform when so close to the title.
This trend had also been copied during his club career. Despite winning all domestic trophies with Bayern Munich, Schweinsteiger and his club had failed in two Champions League finals (2010 and 2012).
However, in 2013 they could finally change their fortunes and won the biggest trophy in club football with Schweinsteiger an instrumental figure in the Bayern squad.
With his club missing out on the Champions League final this time around, this is the first time since 2008 that Jogi Low has all his national team players available for the World Cup preparations camps.
The 29-year-old has suffered a serious injury this season, which kept him side-lined between November and the beginning of the year but seems to have fully recovered since returning in February.
If Schweinsteiger can find his fitness level and be 100 percent ready for Brazil (unlike at the EURO 2012), he will surely be one of the main pillars in Germany’s World Cup campaign.
Do you think Bastian Schweinsteiger can be Germany’s game breaker in Brazil? Have your say in the comment section below.