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Schweinsteiger Obeys His Chancellor


Germany's hero of Thursday's riveting 3-2 quarter-final win over Portugal at the European Championships has a secret adviser. Sebastian Schweinsteiger (or 'Swinesteiger', as the ESPN commentators insist on calling him) received a few words of wisdom from German chancellor Angela Merkel while sitting out a suspension in the stands at Germany's final group game against Austria earlier this week: "Please, just don't do anything stupid again."
 
Merkel was referring to Schweinsteiger's red card for violent behavior against Croatia. Schweinsteiger took on board her advice to "play like you used to" (meaning, during the 2006 World Cup), because "when the chancellor demands something, you have to do it." His goal, which was the culmination of one of the best moves of the tournament, and two free kick assists, "were a joy to watch," writes Marc Heinrich.
 
"His passes found their target, the dead ball situations worked, and with his early goal he steadied the nerves of his team-mates, at the same time bringing them up to his level." Schweinsteiger said that he was brought in to the team to give it some "momentum, and I think I succeeded. We showed that we can play good football, and we won for the coach."

Read the whole story at Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung »

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