It’s official: Basti is back.
The former Bayern Munich man and defending World Cup champion has signed a new deal covering the 2018 season, with no options for subsequent year.
The news answers one of the biggest open questions hanging over the Fire since late last season. There has been plenty of rumors and scuttlebutt over whether Basti would be back this year, and at one point toward the end of the 2017 regular season things were looking grim. But getting Schweinsteiger tied to a new deal was clearly a priority for the front office, and after months of negotiation they got the job done.
In a statement, Schweinsteiger talked about how much the city has grown on him and what he still wants to accomplish.
“I am very happy to re-sign with the Chicago Fire and to continue what we started in 2017,” Schweinsteiger said. “Last year was a special moment for my career, but it felt incomplete without a trophy. I love this city, this sport, and winning, so I look forward to another season with the Fire as we progress to hopefully another level of success.”
Fire GM Nelson Rodriguez made it clear that getting Basti locked in for another year was at the top of the To-Do list for the off-season.
“It was a priority to re-sign Bastian and we’re pleased that he will remain with the club,” Rodriguez said. “He’s a proven winner who was an integral part of our success in 2017. Bastian’s talent combined with his character and qualities off the field are vital to our squad as we continue to build a championship program.”
If the Fire manage to convince David Accam to stick around for another year, they’ll be in good shape ahead of March 10th.
UPDATE (10:20pm CST): Here’s the official announcement from the club.
Schweinsteiger also posted an open letter on the club website:
Last season had some high moments, and also some that maybe did not go the way we all hoped. Our team reached an important milestone by returning to the playoffs. However, our year ended without a trophy, and so it felt incomplete. As a sportsman I can not accept this but with the great support of our fans, I am sure we can create another great season.
I love this city. I love this sport. And I love winning. And so, it is with great happiness that I announce my return to the Chicago Fire in 2018. I look forward to another year with my teammates, the staff and, of course, our great fans.
It’s time to get back to work.
Read the whole thing here.