A man of combative skills, Bastian Schweinsteiger has been hailed as the new Stefan Effenberg and he indeed bears a resemblance to the great Bayern Munich star not only in his looks, but his playing style as well.
It was most evident on Saturday when Schweinsteiger played the lead role in Germany’s emphatic 3-1 win over Portugal in the match for third place. The Bayern Munich midfielder was simply outstanding when his team needed him most with captain Michael Ballack out due to injury.
Schweinsteiger was effective in both attack and defence throughout his 79 minutes on the pitch, but it was two moments of magic and perhaps one piece of good fortune that separated him from the other players on the pitch. In an intensive game in which goals were lacking, Schweinsteiger opened the scoring with a thunderous strike in the 56th minute.
He moved inside from the left and unleashed a right-footed shot from the edge of the area, which deceived Portugal custodian Ricardo. The ball flew through the keeper’s arms to give Germany the lead.
A few minutes later, he brought in a magnificent free-kick that was deflected into his own goal by Portugal defender Petit, and finished off his outstanding performance with another brilliant shot into the far corner which left the keeper helpless. It was a great performance by any standard.