Bastian Schweinsteiger revealed Wednesday the prospect of playing before Manchester United’s supporters at Old Trafford’s iconic “Theatre of Dreams” helped lure him away from Bayern Munich.
The 30-year-old 2014 World Cup-winning midfield general completed a A?14m (19.47m euros, $21.72m) move to United on Monday after agreeing a three-year deal with the Premier League side.
The move to Manchester reunites Schweinsteiger with former Bayern boss Louis van Gaal, who forged a solid bond with the midfielder during a successful stint with the Bundesliga giants between 2009 and 2011.
Schweinsteiger, who joined up with United immediately for their pre-season tour of the United States, told journalists in Seattle on Wednesday he was looking forward to working with van Gaal again.
But it was the prospect of playing for United at Old Trafford which had been the biggest draw, he said.
“Of course we know each other, we had a good time but I am here for Manchester United because Manchester United is a big club and I am looking forward to playing in that great stadium,” Schweinsteiger said.
Schweinsteiger said the Old Trafford support had made a lasting impression on him during a 2010 Champions League quarter-final, when Bayern lost 3-2 but eliminated United on away goals.
“The supporters from Manchester United, they are huge,” Schweinsteiger said.
“I remember once when we played there, we lost 3-2 but we moved on to the next round – but these supporters were very respectful after the match, they gave us applause and I am looking forward to playing in front of these supporters.”
Schweinsteiger said he had his sights set firmly on a trophy-winning finale to his career after winning every available honour with Bayern.
“I cannot guarantee titles, but I can guarantee we will give our best to be successful,” he said.
“I am very happy to be here and to play for Manchester United. It is a big honour. Of course it is a new step in my life.
“I want to win titles, it is easy. Manchester United is used to it and I am used to it too. That is the goal for the next years in Manchester.”
Schweinsteiger could make his bow for United in their opening International Champions Cup match on Friday, when they face Mexico’s Club America at CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks NFL team.