FIFA will hold a vote in Moscow this week to pick the host for the 2026 World Cup, and it’s down to two finalists- North America and Russia. Former Germany national team captain and current Chicago Fire midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger supports the United States-Canada-Mexico joint World Cup bid.
“Yes, of course,” Schweinsteiger responded when asked about the upcoming decision following Chicago’s 1-1 draw with the New England Revolution.
Schweinsteiger turned in a man of the match performance last night in front of 14,415 fans, as he opened the scoring in the 63′. His second goal of the season came on a quick give-and-go with Aleksandar Katai, as the former Bayern Munich man collected the ball inside the 18-yard box and powered a shot past Revolution #1 Matt Turner.
It was on track to become the game winning goal, until a very bad gaffe by Fire Goalkeeper Ricardo Sanchez perfectly set up Teal Bunbury’s equalizer with only eight minutes left in regulation. It was however, a very poorly officiated match, and the Fire really got shafted by a couple blatantly blown calls.
Schweinsteiger refrained from discussing the officiating however.
Schweinsteiger, unprompted says he won’t talk about the referee but feel free to write about it. #cf97
— Guillermo Rivera (@FireConf) June 10, 2018
In addition to the 2026 World Cup host reveal, this week sees Germany begin their World Cup title defense in Russia. Die Mannschaft open their 2018 World Cup campaign with a group stage game against Mexico. This will be the first World Cup without Schweinsteiger since 2002, as he retired from international competition after UEFA Euro 2016.
He earned 121 caps in his number 7 shirt, over the course of a career that spanned 12 years.
Schweinsteiger captained the 2014 World champions, and he admits it will feel a bit strange watching, instead of playing this time around.
14 years ago today, I made my first appearance playing for the German national team. It was a very special moment that I won’t forget. @DFB_Team #DieMannschaft pic.twitter.com/iSQGPAp6n6
— Basti Schweinsteiger (@BSchweinsteiger) June 6, 2018
“It is a little bit strange, the first time not being there, but I think I did my service to the national team and now is the time for other players to step in and I will be the biggest fan of course,” Basti told a small group of reporters postgame in Bridgeview, Illinois.
“We will have some TVs over here, so we’ll watch games over here as well.”
Schweinsteiger’s ability to watch the World Cup will of course depend on the Fire’s game and practice schedule, but only one Germany group stage match falls on the same day as a Fire game- June 23rd. There is an eight hour gap between the two kickoffs however.
Schweinsteiger likes his team’s chances of becoming just the third nation to win back-to-back World Cups (Italy 1934, 1938; Brazil 1958, 1962)
“Like always we have a very good team and I think we are one of the favorites,” he added.
Germany and Brazil are universally considered the two co-favorites among pundits and bookmakers.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.
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