German newspaper <World Online> series
<The School Life Of The German National Team Players>
Part 5 - Bastian Schweinsteiger: Older girls’ favourite
Original Article in German 2012.5.28
Bastian Schweinsteiger arranged everything for football career at an early age, and he used to throw water bombs at others.
Before settling down for good grades, each morning Bastian Schweinsteiger goes out and rate girls. He often sits down with his friend Wolfgang Lagler at the window of the classroom and looks at the girls who get off the Schoolbus. “We then made a joke before the first lesson, and also made a small rank,” says Lagler.
Which is good? Which is very good? Which is the best? And then come the classic questions: Is this not the sister of one of your friends? What’s her name? How do we get the number? Long before Heidi Klum becomes “Germany’s Next Top Model”, those friends who’s in their puberty in the late 90s, cast their own lists. “We have talked a lot about that age girls, in a quite harmless way, just as boys do. It was a great time,” said Lagler.
He then goes to Dientzenhofer school with today’s national player of FC Bayern Munich in Brannenburg near Rosenheim. It is a state school. About 800 young people from the nearby countryside study here. Luftkurtort, which is in Upper Bavaria, has just 5800 inhabitants and is situated idyllically. The students can look at the farm and mountain pastures during the break.
Lagler plays football with Schweinsteiger in 1860 Rosenheim. The sport is their life. Their parents make a driving shifts plan, so as to enable them to come in time for workouts and games. Both guys are very talented,and the Association calls them regularly to participate in the Upper Bavarian selection. When they win the Indoor Champions Cup, Bastian’s father Fred, invites the team to a lunch at McDonalds. “We had almost got more excited about it than about the Cup, and Bastian ate a burger too,” says Lagler.
This is an exception. Even then Schweinsteiger has begun to pay a lot of attention to his diet. When a player from another school was smoking behind the cabin, he is warming up already. Specifically, he has to do exercises to stretch the muscles, and unlike many of his classmates, he has got a clear vision of his future. “It was clear to him that he wants to be a professional football player,” says Kurt Ebner. He taught Schweinsteiger from 7th Grade to 9th Grade in Sports. Schweinsteiger is good at horizontal bar and the parallel bar, and even better at football.
His skills on the ball as well as his character impress Ebner. Schweinsteiger has always been very disciplined, ambitious and humble at the same time. And he is tremendously clever in physical learning and school team. “He always made sure not to get injured. Basti knew exactly which battle he must withdraw, because otherwise it would be dangerous,” said Ebner. And he never plays recklessly. Schweinsteiger is able to solve any situation with a ball pass.
Like his parents, Bastian also likes skiing very much, and even races against Felix Neureuther, who later became a professional skier and also a Champion). If asked in his home village, people would say that Schweinsteiger had often been better. “Basti had to choose between two careers, either Skiing or football, and he opted for football,” said his former classmates Lagler.
When he gets 13 years old, Schweinsteiger begin playing for Bayern. His mother send him to training four times a week. It’s 83 km away from his home and it takes an hour to get there, and another hour to get back. His father, who used to play football in Austria, does training with his son and requires him to use his weaker left foot to shot. He owns a shop in Oberaudorf, which called “Schweinsteiger Sport.” His son learns from him that time management is crucial. And he manages to organize his life. Homework was not always easy, but he forces himself to finish.
Despite the high burden, his school grades remain stable. They are not outstanding, but never disturbing. And he remains a nice person. Of course, he get wild sometimes. Once he throws a water bomb on the niece of a teacher. That girl is still proud of it.
Any show-off? “Never,” said his former teacher. He never wears Bayern training suits or Bayern T-shirts in school. “He has never made a big issue out of it,” says Lagler. But of course it gets around the school that Schweinsteiger is special. “Especially the older girls said many times that Bastian is sweet! And he has already played its part in Bayern, too!” And yet there is something getting different: Schweinsteiger’s language. His music teacher Alois Plomer notices at that time that “his Bavarian accent is disappearing.” In the club, he now speaks with young people from all over Germany and he shall adapts to their language. “I once asked him: ‘Basti, where has the Bavarian accent gone?’ Then he grinned and said, ‘! The other players in the club have to understand what I say.’”
He hardly got time to go to parties in these years. When others come out of the disco, the alarm clock rings at the Schweinsteiger -it’s time to get ready for the next game. At birthday parties, when his relatives and friends are drinking beer, he only drinks apple juice or water. Although There are also some other good football players in the town, but no one has got such strong self-discipline.
He is becoming an increasingly better player. At the age of 16, he decides to move to Munich. He then lives in the FC Bayern soccer boarding school in the big city and goes on whith his middle school study.
As Schweinsteiger is no longer his student, his PE teacher Ebner once recognizes him riding bike on the way back from a football game. “He waved to me. he would have only made a few changes. A lot of guys are hard to recognize after school life.” This is the typical Schweinsteiger.
His former buddy Lagler is now the marketing director of a sporting goods manufacturer. He still plays football, but different from Schweinsteiger, he only plays in leisure time for SV Nussdorf in the district league. The contact with Schweinsteiger is eventually demolished. “But I’m happy every time he wins a game. Hopefully the Championship.”
The Dietzenhofer School now strives for that very reason, to get an original Schweinsteiger jersey. It should be framed and hung in the hallway of the school building. Before the town hall, Schweinsteiger has already been perpetuated, the mayor had Schweinsteige cast in bronze the footprints and place it in front of the entrance.
Schweinsteiger - this name is well spread in Oberaudorf: among those who are currently attending the school, four students got the same name with Bavaria professionals, also including Sven Bender (Borussia Dortmund) and his brother Lars (Bayer Leverkusen). The Basti, as referred to the one in our school, hopefully will become another professional football player in ten years.
Music teacher Alois Plomer has developed a trick to occupy the first row seats which are traditionally unpopular. “There used to sit the Basti Schweinsteiger, I always say.” He points to the front desk on the left. “And within seconds, the seat is occupied,” the teacher laughs at once.