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How Mourinho Banned Schweinsteiger From Man Utd Dressing Room

Jose Mourinho
"Jose Mourinho" by Ronnie Macdonald is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Bastian Schweinsteiger has opened up about his tumultuous time at Manchester United under Jose Mourinho, detailing a shocking incident where he was banned from the first-team dressing room without explanation, sparking a prolonged period of exile.

Despite Schweinsteiger’s illustrious career at Bayern Munich, where he amassed numerous titles including the Champions League and World Cup, his transition to Manchester United under Louis van Gaal was met with initial success, culminating in an FA Cup triumph in his debut season. However, Mourinho’s arrival in May 2016 marked a turning point for Schweinsteiger.

Recalling the incident, Schweinsteiger described how he was informed on his birthday, upon returning from international duty with the German national team, that he was not allowed to enter the first-team dressing room by football director John Murtough, without any prior warning or explanation from Mourinho. Consequently, Schweinsteiger was relegated to training with the under-16 squad, a move that left him perplexed and disheartened.

Following the incident, Schweinsteiger sought clarification from Mourinho, who cited the midfielder’s previous injury and rehabilitation process in Germany as a reason for his perceived lack of commitment to Manchester United. Despite adhering to an agreement with van Gaal to undergo rehab in Germany while maintaining communication with United’s medical staff, Schweinsteiger found himself ostracized by Mourinho and the club’s hierarchy.

The subsequent months saw Schweinsteiger isolated from the first-team setup, training alone with a fitness coach, and denied the opportunity to train alongside his teammates. Despite the adversity, Schweinsteiger maintained his dedication to the club, clinging to the hope of a potential return to the fold.

Throughout his exile, Schweinsteiger received messages of support from his teammates, who expressed their confusion and disbelief at Mourinho’s treatment. However, the German midfielder remained resolute in his commitment to Manchester United, despite his limited playing time and diminishing prospects under Mourinho’s regime.

Schweinsteiger’s stint at Manchester United culminated in just three appearances during Mourinho’s tenure, none of which came in the Premier League, before departing for MLS side Chicago Fire. Reflecting on his time at United, Schweinsteiger expressed his enduring affection for the club and his desire to have had a more positive experience at Old Trafford.

Mourinho’s tenure at Manchester United, while delivering titles in the Europa League and Carabao Cup, was marred by controversies and strained relationships with certain players, including Schweinsteiger. His departure from the club in December 2018 marked the end of a tumultuous chapter in United’s history.

Schweinsteiger’s revelation sheds light on the challenges he faced during his time at Manchester United, highlighting the complexities of player-manager dynamics and the impact of managerial decisions on individual careers. Despite the setbacks, Schweinsteiger’s unwavering professionalism and dedication to the club serve as a testament to his character and resilience in the face of adversity.