Mourinho banned me from Man Utd dressing room – Schweinsteiger

Bastian Schweinsteiger has said José Mourinho banned him from the first-team dressing room without explanation when he was at Mancester United, kickstarting a months-long exile.

Schweinsteiger had already lifted eight Bundesliga titles, as well as the Champions League and World Cup, before ending a 13-year stay at Bayern Munich in 2015 to join Louis van Gaal’s United.

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However, after a debut season in which United lifted the FA Cup, the Germany midfielder was greeted coldly by Mourinho, who replaced Van Gaal in May 2016.

Schweinsteiger told Sky Bet’s Overlap Podcast: “It was [preseason] 2016 and I was with the German national team, we went far in the competition [Euros] reaching the semifinals, so I stepped in a little later [at United] and the team were in the U.S. for a preseason tour. When I arrived on the first day, I trained with Zlatan Ibrahimović and thought it was great, a player who has the vision and is amazing to play with.

“The next day, on my birthday, when I walked into [United’s training ground] Carrington, [football director] John Murtough was there and said that I wasn’t allowed to walk into the dressing room, the coach had said so. No warning, nothing. I don’t know [why he told me]. Someone could have told me there [on my first day of training] or explained it to me in a normal way, but okay, I went to the youth dressing room and trained with the under-16s. Yes, completely [kicked me out of the first team dressing room], so I had to ask him [Murtough] to bring me my cleats and training gear. I asked him who I was training with, and he said there was the U16 team, so I went and trained with the U16.”

“I asked him whether I could talk to the manager in the afternoon, so when I came back from training with the under 16s, where I trained so bad because I didn’t know what was going on or it was a joke, I then had a meeting with him [José Mourinho] in the afternoon. He explained to me that he didn’t see me happy here at United because when I had my injury, I did my rehab with German doctors, spending time in Germany.

“Of course, I came back to United and was in contact with doctors and watched the games — I had a conversation with Louis van Gaal when he was coach, and he said to come on the weekends to United and remain in contact with the doctors, they needed me fit and there was an FA Cup final which I almost played. That was our agreement and I kept to it. For me, I just wanted to get healthy and wanted to be able to play — I stuck to the agreement with Louis van Gaal but obviously the board thought a little differently about that.

“It was just me [that got moved to the youth dressing room]. After that, I was training alone for at least three months with a fitness coach. I trained before and after the [first] team. No [José never let me train with the first team], I guess they wanted to get rid of me.

“In that moment, I was still super happy at United, I loved to wear the jersey, I loved it. I was thinking that maybe it was just a period, I will train now and keep myself fit and maybe one day they’ll change their mind. My dream was to always step back out into Old Trafford.”

When asked how his teammates responded to his exile, Schweinsteiger said: “I didn’t see them, sometimes I’d pass by a few or get a message. They said that they didn’t understand the decision, but I didn’t see them, I had to train in the morning or after their session to not see them.”

Schweinsteiger made just three appearances that season, although none in the Premier League, and left to join Chicago Fire in MLS the following spring. He eventually retired in October 2019.

Mourinho led United to titles in the Europa League and Carabao Cup but was sacked after a disappointing run in the Premier League in December 2018, ending his controversial 2 1/2-year stay at the club. He has since had spells at Tottenham Hotspur and AS Roma.