Munich - Cast your mind back to 19 May 2012 in FC Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena. The Bavarians had on home soil in the final of the UEFA Champions League by Chelsea FC on penalties. And who should have missed the crucial spot-kick? the team’s vice-captain and midfield orchestrator.
It was a heartbreaking moment for the German international, but if anyone was in any doubt of his powers of recovery, they need only to consider his performances this season. The 28-year-old was at the forefront of one of the most formidable teams that Bayern have ever produced, helping the Reds to the fastest Bundesliga triumph in history and being described by coach Jupp Heynckes as "the best midfielder in the world".
However, the absence of a European title left a gaping hole on his CV, although that was remedied after Bayern defeated Borussia Dortmund in the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League final in London last Saturday. Having lost two continental deciders, ‘Schweini’ is now, at long last, a European champion.
Alongside captain Philipp Lahm, Schweinsteiger has helped the current Bayern side become the best team in Europe, and one on the verge of an historic treble ahead of this weekend's DFB Cup final against VfB Stuttgart.