Basti's back: Chicago Fire re-sign German superstar Bastian Schweinsteiger

TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Re-signed

The Chicago Fire took a major step forward in their plans for a 2019 resurgence on Wednesday, announcing that superstar Bastian Schweinsteiger has re-signed with the club for another season.

One of the most decorated players ever to wear a Fire jersey, Schweinsteiger will remain a Designated Player in 2019, his third with the club.

“Let’s raise a trophy. I believe in this club and I believe that we can be champions,” said Schweinsteiger in a club release. “This American journey has been very special for me and my family. I love being a part of the Chicago Fire and we appreciate how the city has embraced us with open arms. To the Fire fans, from my family to yours, I wish you a happy and safe holiday season and I will see you in Chicago next year.”

The news offers some solace for Chicago fans after a rough 2018 where the Men in Red failed to build on last year’s appearance in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, finishing 10th in the Eastern Conference with an 8-18-8 record (32 points).

Playing multiple positions across both midfield and defense, Schweinsteiger scored four goals and a team-high six assists this season. Over his two MLS campaigns he’s made 55 regular-season appearances (53 starts), posting seven goals, 12 assists and a team-leading 77 chances created.

A FIFA World Cup winner with Germany in 2014, Schweinsteiger’s decorated career includes 23 major domestic and international honors, highlighted by a 2013 UEFA Champions League title, eight Bundesliga championships and seven DFB-Pokal (German Cup) wins with Bayern Munich. He took part in three FIFA World Cups (2006, 2010, 2014), four UEFA European Championships (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016) and captained Germany, for whom he scored 24 goals in 121 career appearances.

He and his spouse, retired tennis great Ana Ivanovic, have made Chicago their full-time home since their arrival in 2017, often exploring their new city and giving birth to their first child in March.

“In a lot of ways Basti has come to embody our club, the prototypical Fire player and the spirit of Chicago: industrious, intelligent, enthusiastic, talented and world-class,” said Fire president and GM Nelson Rodriguez in a statement. “His return demonstrates our continuing effort to build a championship program, both on and off the field.”

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