Bastian Schweinsteiger should retire from internationals - Michael Ballack
Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger should consider retiring from international football, according to his former teammate Michael Ballack in a column for Germany's Express.
Schweinsteiger and Ballack played together for both Bayern Munich and the Germany national team, but the latter joined Chelsea in May 2006 and his international career was then ended in June 2011.
But Ballack says that Schweinsteiger has a battle on his hands to secure his future in the United team, and believes it would also be a good time for the midfielder, 31, to retire from the Germany national side.
"I know that he [Schweinsteiger] is brutally ambitious," Ballack wrote. "But, when you've seen him in the past two years, you also have to honestly say that I'm worried about his physical condition after his many injuries.
"It will be difficult enough for him to prevail at Manchester [United] against the sporting competition. That's why I don't know whether he'd do himself a favour by naming the 2018 World Cup in Russia as his next personal goal. I'd advise him to consider this step carefully. He could land in a vortex."
The former Chelsea midfielder thinks that, if Schweinsteiger chooses to carry on, then it could lead to the midfielder's reputation being tarnished.
"Other players could use this situation to question his status in the team," Ballack said. "Schweinsteiger does not deserve that.
"He sadly missed [out on winning] the Euro, and on top of that he made a stupid handball. But that doesn't diminish his career. He won the 2014 World Cup for Germany. He achieved outstanding things for football. He could leave now through the front door with his head held high."
Germany head coach Joachim Low revealed last month that Schweinsteiger would hold talks with Jose Mourinho about his Manchester United future following Euro 2016.
Due to injury and fitness problems, the midfielder has not started a game for his club since facing Sheffield United in the FA Cup on Jan 9.