Schweini can step up: Beckenbauer

PARIS • Can Bastian Schweinsteiger shine for Germany at Euro 2016 after missing the final 11 games of the English Premier League campaign with a knee injury?

Former Germany legend Franz Beckenbauer certainly thinks the 34-year-old, nicknamed "Schweini", will prove a point during the month-long tournament, reported the Daily Mail.

The German midfielder did not have a successful season with Manchester United and was criticised for his performances when fit.

And it remains a serious question whether new manager Jose Mourinho will have any role for the World Cup winner next season.

Beckenbauer, however, believes Schweinsteiger will be back to his best in France after returning as a second-half substitute during the 2-0 weekend win over Hungary.

Schweinsteiger played the last 23 minutes in Gelsenkirchen after being sidelined by a torn medial knee ligament for three months.

"We all remember his bloody face in the last minutes of (the 2014) World Cup final. This we will see again," Beckenbauer said.

"Why? Because he is away from the problems at Manchester. I guess he is feeling really comfortable in the Germany squad."

Germany coach Joachim Low was always going to gamble on Schweinsteiger's fitness and hopes the midfielder can play a part in Germany lifting a first European Championship for two decades.

Beckenbauer believes being back among the Germany squad is just the tonic for the United man.

"Bastian has surprised me," he said. "He was stronger than expected against Hungary."

But Schweinsteiger admits he is unlikely to play the full 90 minutes of the opening Group C game against Ukraine in Lille on Sunday.

"He hasn't got any playing rhythm at the moment, so we'll have to see," said Low.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 08, 2016, with the headline 'Schweini can step up: Beckenbauer'. Print Edition | Subscribe