Legendary German ace reveals his curtains out moment at Manchester United

Mourinho sent me packing on day one, says former Manchester United man Bastian Schweinsteiger

In a recent interview with Gary Neville for The Overlap, Bastian Schweinsteiger has revealed that he was ostracised from the first-team Man United squad by José Mourinho as soon as he arrived.

The Bayern Munich legend arrived at Old Trafford ahead of the 2015/16 season under Louis van Gaal. He struggled with injuries in his debut season in Manchester, however, and was shipped out in the middle of the next season to MLS.

Speaking to Neville, the former Germany international revealed that Mourinho did not fancy him from day one, and the club did not support him either.

Schweinsteiger made just 35 appearances for the Red Devils during his time in England. (Source: Transfermarkt) (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

“When I walked into Carrington, [football director] John Murtough was there and said that I wasn’t allowed to walk into the dressing room, the coach [Mourinho] had said so.

“No warning, nothing. I don’t know. Someone could have told me there, or explained it to me in a normal way, but okay, I went to the youth dressing room and trained with the Under-16’s. Yes, completely [kicked me out of the first team dressing room].

“I then had a meeting with him [José Mourinho] in the afternoon. He explained to me that he didn’t see me happy here at United because when I had my injury, I did my rehab with German doctors, spending time in Germany.

“Of course, I came back to United and was in contact with doctors and watched the games – I had a conversation with Louis van Gaal when he was coach, and he said to come on the weekends to United and remain in contact with the doctors, they needed me fit and there was an FA Cup final which I almost played.

“That was our agreement and I kept to it. For me, I just wanted to get healthy and wanted to be able to play – I stuck to the agreement with Louis van Gaal but obviously the board thought a little differently about that.

“It was just me [that got moved to the youth dressing room]. After that, I was training alone for at least three months with a fitness coach. I trained before and after the team.

“I guess they wanted to get rid of me. At that moment, I was still super happy at United, I loved to wear the jersey, I loved it. I was thinking that maybe it was just a period, I will train now and keep myself fit and maybe one day they’ll change their mind. My dream was to always step back out into Old Trafford.”

Schweinsteiger speaking to Neville, as quoted by The Independent

Schweinsteiger moved to Chicago Fire in March 2017 before hanging up his boots at the end of the 2019 MLS season.

An interesting nugget of recent Man United history

Everything about the story, from Schweinsteiger’s arrival at Old Trafford to dismissal from the first-team months before being shipped off to the US speaks quintessential post-Sir Alex Man United of the 2010s.

Schweinsteiger was just one of many players José Mourinho fell out with during his time as Man United manager. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The lack of communication on the club’s part in this instance for any player, let alone one of Schweinsteiger’s stature, goes a long way to indicate the deep-rooted institutionalised issues that plagued United behind the scenes and, when stacked together, stopped the club from ever progressing further.

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Now, in 2024, with a new sporting ownership in place, one can only hope that these instances remain in the past and be remembered going forward as a reminder of how bad things used to be. Only time will tell, though.