CHICAGO (AFP) - A bizarre question about the possibility of Chicago Fire winning the World Cup stole the spotlight at Bastian Schweinsteiger's formal introduction to Major League Soccer on Wednesday.
The German midfielder was all smiles as he talked about the latest stop in a career which has seen him lift the World Cup with Germany as well as the Champions League with Bayern Munich.
But the 32-year-old was momentarily wrongfooted by a question from a journalist who wanted to know if the "World Cup was a realistic expectation" for Chicago Fire now that Schweinsteiger had joined the franchise.
As Schweinsteiger sought clarification over the question, Chicago general manager Nelson Rodriguez promptly intervened.
"We as a club don't play for the World Cup, we play for the MLS Cup," Rodriguez said.
Schweinsteiger then diplomatically responded with a general reply about his competitive mindset.
"I always believed that you can win the game even if it's against the best team in the world," he said. "Everything's possible."
The exchange immediately went viral, with the questioner being brutally mocked across social media as others cringed.
"Embarrassing... Schweinsteiger was just asked if he can help the Chicago Fire win a World Cup," wrote Cristian Nyari on Twitter.
"I hope Schweinsteiger has a bonus clause in his contract for tolerating dumb questions," wrote another user