Bastian Schweinsteiger backs Manchester United to win Premier League under Louis van Gaal
Last Updated: 14/08/15 6:43pm
Bastian Schweinsteiger says he came to Manchester United to win titles and believes manager Louis van Gaal will bring the glory days back to the club.
Schweinsteiger moved to Old Trafford for £15m in July after a trophy-laden 13-year career with Bayern Munich, during which time he worked with Van Gaal.
And while the midfielder is braced for a tussle at the top of the table, he believes his new team can win the Premier League again under the Dutchman's guidance.
"First of all, I think it is not easy to win a title in the Premier League, as you have really good teams here," he told Sky Sports ahead of their live coverage of Aston Villa v Man Utd.
"But if everyone works hard together, and believes in each other, I think there is a chance to win the title.
"It is not easy, I know that, the rest of the team and coach knows that. We know what we can do and bring on the pitch, so we have to be convinced about ourselves, and I think we are, but we have to work a lot."
Schweinsteiger played for Van Gaal between 2009 and 2011 at the Allianz Arena, with the duo winning a league and cup double in their first season together.
"I remember also the first year that he came we almost won the Treble," Schweinsteiger said. "But we lost the (Champions League) final against Inter Milan. You know with him what kind of person you have in the club, so you know the way.
"The year before last, Manchester United were seventh and then last year they were fourth. And after the first 10 matches, I remember United had 13 points, but from that day on they played a really good season.
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"So I think we have the chance to come closer and I see the possibilities here and with such a big club and its supporters, you can achieve something here this season. I am also looking forward to challenging myself, but I especially want to win titles."
Schweinsteiger claims it was the former Ajax, Barcelona and Netherlands national coach who converted him into his current role as a central midfielder.
"He was very important as he when he came to Bayern Munich, he saw from our previous five matches - when Jupp Heynckes was coach - that I played in central midfield," he said. "So he liked it and he let me play in that position at No 6, 8 and sometimes 10. So it was very important that he trusted me in that situation and from then on, I played in that position and I think I had some nice matches."
Many people were surprised though when Schweinsteiger decided to swap Bavaria for Manchester this summer after 536 matches playing for Bayern.
But the 31-year-old says it was a decision he had been thinking about for some time.
"I was looking forward my whole career to once playing somewhere else to get the experience and if I thought about moving to England, I always had Manchester United in my head," he said.
By the way I won the World Cup, so you have to be fit!
"I am looking forward to this challenge in my life. I won everything in Munich and had an unbelievable time there, we had big success, won the Treble, and also with the national team we won the World Cup, and now I was ready for a change.
"In 2010, I also had the possibility to change to another club, but I was not ready as I wanted to win the Champions League with Bayern Munich first," Schweinsteiger added. "Now I had a feeling that I deserve it, to see something different, and so in the end I have to say that the timing was perfect! And also to play for Manchester United is a really big honour."
Schweinsteiger was also quick to play down recent suggestions from Bayern coach Pep Guardiola that he had struggled with injuries during the last three years at the Bundesliga champions.
"I am fit, I am getting fitter," he said. "I had long holidays this summer and I came a little bit late to the team, and then I had a small calf injury in America, which was not perfect. But I am getting in better and better shape and within one or two weeks I will be at the highest level and then I can play like I want.
"In the past, I was not injured that much. I had a small problem with my knee and one operation on my ankle three years ago. And by the way I won the World Cup, so you have to be fit!"
Watch the full interview with Bastian Schweinsteiger during build-up to Aston Villa v Manchester United from 6pm on Friday live on Sky Sports 1.
Schweinsteiger's interview is also available on SkyGo, iPad and On Demand from 6pm on Friday.