Berlin - Germany coach Joachim Loew is backing Bastian
Schweinsteiger to brush off his shaky start at Manchester United when he
captains his country in Friday's key Euro 2016 qualifier against Poland.
The world champions host Poland in Frankfurt with Adam
Nawalka's visitors top of Group D by a point from Loew's Germany, who then face
third-placed Scotland in Glasgow on Monday, in two important qualifiers for
An historic 2-0 defeat to Poland in Warsaw last October -
the German's first loss to their neighbours - highlighted their post-Brazil
hangover as Germany struggle to rediscover the form which carried them to the
2014 World Cup title.
Schweinsteiger will lead Germany for the first time since
his transfer from Bayern Munich to United in July.
Also read: Schweinsteiger ‘surprised’ by Old Trafford welcome
Loew has described the 31-year-old as
"world-class" despite criticism of his fitness in United's 2-1 defeat
to Swansea on Sunday, his first full appearance for his Premier League club.
"When push comes to shove, Bastian is still a
world-class player," said Germany's head coach.
"He is adaptable and his physical robustness is one of
his greatest strengths.
"When he's physically fit, you know what he brings to
the team: he's a strategist, he leads the team and he's equipped with an
unbelievable will to fight and win."
After 14 years in Munich, eight Bundesliga and seven German
Cup titles, plus the 2013 treble of Champions League, Bundesliga and domestic
cup wins, Schweinsteiger was ripe for a move away from Bayern to another big
club, says Loew.
"I believe the change is both good and important for
him," said Loew.
"He has the character to adapt and experience the
appeal of the Premier League and all that comes with it."
Arsenal's Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil, who has also been
criticised for a lack of form by the UK media in the past, came to the defence
of his national team captain.
"Basti showed the entire world what kind of a leader he
is at the World Cup," said the 26-year-old Ozil.
"The hard interim conclusions of the English press are
not fair. "He certainly needs some more time to adapt to the Premier
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