Bastian Schweinsteiger has issued a stinging rebuke to critics of his performances so far this season, claiming he is playing at the same level as during Germany’s 2014 World Cup triumph.
Schweinsteiger, 31, has struggled to produce his best form since joining Manchester United from Bayern Munich in July.
The midfielder, who starred for Joachim Low’s national team as they won the biggest prize in international football during the showcase tournament in Brazil, appears to be struggling to cope with the physicality of England’s top flight.
The former Champions League winner, though, has insisted his struggles have been exaggerated and is adamant he is still able to compete in the Premier League.
“Honestly, I am not impressed by the criticism that has been brought up [over] me via the media,” he was quoted as saying by German publication Welt am Sonntag.
“I am currently playing on a level that is comparable to that during the World Cup [in] 2014.
“‘Old man’s football’ – that is an expression that was used back then, too. After the World Cup final those voices went silent.
“I will never be able to compete with Usain Bolt,” he added, referring to the Jamaican sprinter.
“But being slow or being quick on the pitch has not solely something to do with making sprints. It’s also about being quick in your head. And that’s something where I am fully up to it. And physically, I am not the slowest either.
“For me, it is important what I am being told face to face. Every one or two words will be made bigger than they actually are [in the media]. It was a good year for me, but not a perfect year. My performances in Manchester were really okay.”
Schweinsteiger was suspended as United lost 2-1 at home to Norwich City on Saturday, their sixth match without a win in all competitions and third defeat in succession.