By Oliver Trust
BERLIN, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- Germany's friendly-game against Finland this Wednesday evening most likely won't be a thrilling experience for football fans.
For 32-year-old Bastian Schweinsteiger though it will be an unforgettable game as it will be his last for Germany.
A few days ago, the Manchester United midfielder announced his retirement from the German national team after 120 games and over 12 years. After Schweinsteiger conquered football's peak by winning the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, his career has nosedived.
The Finland game will now be his last dance on the international stage. Schweinsteiger's last appearance in a German shirt is accompanied by the question whether it will be his last concert in professional football as his future at his club doesn't look bright to say the least.
ManU coach Jose Mourinho announced his intention to sideline Schweinsteiger who joined United when Louis van Gaal was in charge.
"It' ll be extremely hard for him to come back," Mourinho said.
The German has to train with Manchester's reserve team. While Mourinho was criticized by Schweinsteiger's former club Bayern Munich and former Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, the Portuguese is obviously convinced Schweinsteiger's career is on the wane.
Hitzfeld called Mourinho's decision "disrespectful", saying: "Bastian Schweinsteiger is a personality in football and one that deserves a different kind of treatment," when interviewed by the Berlin-based newspaper "Die Welt".
Hitzfeld continued, "Bastian knows how quick things change in professional football. I' m sure he is still capable of being a key figure for a big club."
Hitzfeld additionally expects Schweinsteiger to fight back and regain a place in a top team's squad, either at his present club or elsewhere.
Recently Schweinsteiger announced his intention to finish his career in Manchester and rejected a move to another European outfit. Juventus Turin was said to be interested in Schweinsteiger. Now rumors are growing that Schweinsteiger could join Major League Soccer in the USA or the Chinese Super League next winter.
Schweinsteiger himself talked about "respectful talks" with Jose Mourinho. "I know his point of view and his goals," Schweinsteiger said. "I won't stop playing football, no matter what happens to me in Manchester."
The midfielder pointed out that he will most possibly make a decision to leave Manchester in winter. "For now I want to see how things develop. My dream is to help Manchester to achieve their goals. I want to show the ManU fans what I can deliver," Schweinsteiger said.
"I feel well at the moment and as I said, I won't join another club in Europe." Meaning only the USA or China are an option should he decide to leave Manchester.
While Hitzfeld attacked Mourinho, German head-coach Joachim Loew called Schweinsteiger's decision to retire from the German national team a "good decision" at the "right" time.
He indicated Schweinsteiger made this decision in order to concentrate at his club at the age of 32. "We want to say good bye to Bastian and thank him for all he has done for German football and the national team."
Loew knows exactly about his captain's injury problems. During Euro 2016 in France, Schweinsteiger lost his place in Germany's starting eleven precisely because he wasn't fully fit.
After returning to Manchester, for the most part he could not attend the training sessions due to his knee problems. A year before Schweinsteiger left his club Bayern Munich after 13 years, Pundits said it was because he had lost his place in Bayern's midfield and was threatened with the bench.
After Schweinsteiger's farewell, Loew though will have to announce a new captain. Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng, currently out of the game with a minor injury, and Bayern Munich keeper Manuel Neuer are the two favorites to lead the German team on its way to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Loew indicated that his decision has been made already but that he will wait until after the Finland friendly to announce the new leader as the spotlight should be on Schweinsteiger in his last match.
Schweinsteiger made his international debut in a match against Hungary on June 6, 2004. "I was sent onto the pitch well into the game. Since then I've had many beautiful moments in my career. I just love this sport, but at a certain point it's time to step back and ask the younger ones to take over," Schweinsteiger said.
"I'm happy about every single game my country's shirt. I still feel passion for football and it will be a very emotional moment for me when I play my last game for Germany," Schweinsteiger said.