Schweinsteiger has to get his act together for Germany

Bastian Schweinsteiger, midfielder of the German national football team, gestures during a friendly...

Bastian Schweinsteiger, midfielder of the German national football team, gestures during a friendly football match against China in Shanghai on May 29, 2009. (OLIVER LANG/AFP)

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:29 PM ET

Maybe Bayern Munich should have dressed leggy supermodel Sarah Brandner for its huge Champions League title game showdown against Inter Milan at Madrid’s cavernous Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on May 22.

The curvaceous blonde bombshell certainly could not have played any worse than her famous boyfriend, German national team midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, who went AWOL in Bayern’s 2-0 loss to Jose Mourhino’s Inter squad.

And she’d have looked a whole lot better in that red Bayern jersey than he did.

With the coveted Champions League crown on the line, Schweinsteiger’s moribund performance under the spotlight of such a big tilt likely set off warning bells among Germany’s coaching staff as it prepares to do battle at South Africa 2010.

They, like the legions of German fans longing for a fourth World Cup crown for Der Mannschaft, are probably asking the same question:

“Will the real Bastian Schweinsteiger please stand up?”

There’s the rub.

On a game-to-game basis, you just never know which Schweinsteiger will arrive at the party.

Will it be the ridiculously talented kid who scored a pair of goals in the third-place game against Portugal at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, including a magnificent bending strike that was featured on highlight reels across the world?

Or will it be the guy who was no where to be found in Madrid last month during a game in which his team was thirsting for his heroics?

There is no doubt that Schweinsteiger will be one of the most talented individuals in cleats at South Africa. But his inconsistency is puzzling, especially for someone with such God-given skills.

The bottom line: It is time for Schweinsteiger to get his act together and step up if Germany is to have any hopes of contending for its fourth World Cup title.

With German captain Michael Ballack having been knocked out of the tournament with an ankle injury suffered in the recent FA Cup final at London’s Wembley Stadium, Germany finds itself with a glaring hole in the midfield heading into South Africa.

Schweinsteiger certainly has the ability to fill the void by assuming a more dominant role. Whether he takes full advantage of the opportunity presented to him, well, that remains to be seen.

If he doesn’t, it certainly will be a huge waste of talent.

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THE SCHWEINSTEIGER FILE

Name: Bastian Schweinsteiger, 25
Midfielder, Germany
Club Team: Bayern Munich
International Resume: 73 caps, 19 goals.
Did you know?: That his main squeeze, cover girl Sarah Brandner, was once linked to the likes of Sting, Boris Becker and Prince Albert of Monaco.


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