New Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger told Mirror Online on July 21 he feels his new team is capable of winning several titles. Schweinsteiger spent his previous 17 pro seasons with Bayern Munich.
Bastian Schweinsteiger is confident Manchester United will be a title contender.
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According to Mirror Online's Sean Carter, Schweinsteiger believes his new teammates are capable of lifting Manchester United to this status for years to come.
"I have to say the quality is huge," Schweinsteiger told Mirror Online after his first week of practice with Manchester United on Tuesday. "I am sure with this team it is possible to win titles and after a week I can say that."
Schweinsteiger also stressed to Carter that Manchester United's defense can ultimately make the difference:
"We have a good defense, we have good defensive players, and we have quality players who can make the difference in high-level matches.
"There are some guys who will come later, so I think this team has a lot of possibilities and qualities."
He also has nothing but good things to say about his new captain Wayne Rooney, who he said was one of the reasons he decided to sign with Manchester United, per Mirror Online:
"It is a big honor to play with him in the same team. He is a leader, you can see that. He is a fighter, he is a striker, he is everything. I know that. It was a also a reason to come here, to play with this kind of player."
Schweinsteiger will turn 31 on Aug. 1. Injuries limited him to just 15 games with Bayern Munich last season, prompting skeptics to say he does not have what it takes to excel at the Premier League level with Manchester United, per ESPN FC's Kevin Palmer.
Even former Bayern Munich manager Franz Beckenbauer has had his doubts -- he feels Schweinsteiger would have been better off playing in Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States, per Palmer:
"I find it very brave to make a move like this at his age. People know Schweinsteiger at Bayern and know what he can do. That's not the case in England. He'll have to prove himself all over again.
"Basti is 30 years old. I wish him all the best and hope he can represent German football well in England. Not a lot of players have succeeded in doing so. A move to MLS would have made more sense for me."
However, Schweinsteiger shook off all the doubts and said he's ready to take his game to the next level, per ESPN FC:
"I'm confident I can adjust to the Premier League. I am 30. It is a challenge for me, but I feel very good.
"I had last year the thing with my knee after the World Cup, which was very intensive for me and I had a break at October. From that time on I had no injury. I was fit and felt fit at the end.
"Of course sometimes when you are getting older you need a little more time for recovery, maybe half a day more than 20-year-old players, so that's normal.
"Now I feel great and I am ready to go. I want to make a positive impact and I think I can contribute a lot to the team.
"I think I have a lot of experience, especially of the big matches and that is an advantage always. I want to add my quality to United's game. When I see what we do in practice and the quality we have I am sure we have the chance to win titles. I am convinced about that."
Schweinsteiger is reunited with Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal, who called the shots for his former team, Bayern Munich, from 2009 to 2011, per Carter.
Van Gaal spoke highly of Schweinsteiger when the latter signed with Manchester United on July 13, per the club's official website.
"Bastian is the ultimate professional and there is no doubting his talent and his ability to control games," Van Gaal told ManUtd.com. "He brings a wealth of experience and is an excellent addition to our squad."
Schweinsteiger scored 70 goals in 500 matches for Bayern Munich in his 13-year Bundesliga career, where he won eight medals. He is the captain of the Germany squad which captured the gold at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, per ManUtd.com.
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