Bastian Schweinsteiger: Jose Mourinho arrival at Man Utd would be 'special'
Bastian Schweinsteiger has praised Louis van Gaal following his departure from Manchester United but spoke of his excitement at the prospect of working under Jose Mourinho.
Van Gaal brought Schweinsteiger to United last summer after having worked with the Germany international at Bayern Munich, but the Dutchman left Old Trafford on Monday after finishing fifth in the Premier League this season.
Speaking to reporters at Germany's training camp in Switzerland on Wednesday, Schweinsteiger said: "Louis van Gaal and I had a very special relationship."
Prior to Van Gaal's appointment at Bayern in 2009, Schweinsteiger had largely been used in a wide role at the club, and moving into a central position made a significant impact on the 31-year-old's career.
"He played me in central midfield," the Germany captain said. "I owe a lot to him. And my transfer to Manchester United also had to do with him. I will not say a bad word about him. On the contrary -- I admire him as a coach and in terms of his personality."
Schweinsteiger, who had spent his entire career at Bayern before last summer's transfer, endured a disappointing debut season in England, with his opportunities limited by two knee injuries since the turn of the year.
The midfielder, who has been called into the provisional Germany squad for Euro 2016, missed Saturday's FA Cup final victory over Crystal Palace with the injury but said it was good that Van Gaal ended his reign with a major trophy.
"Despite a difficult season, also because of injuries, we have won the trophy that Manchester [United] had not won in 12 years," he said.
"I think that's a nice way to leave for him."
Mourinho is expected to be confirmed as Van Gaal's replacement this week and Schweinsteiger said it would be interesting to see the Portuguese renew his rivalry with Pep Guardiola, who leaves Bayern this summer to take charge at Manchester City.
"I don't know just yet who will be our coach, but it looks it could be an interesting derby," he said.
He added: "Should Mourinho join Manchester United...I believe everyone would love to be coached by Mourinho...then it will be something special."
Meanwhile, Schweinsteiger has said he is on track to be available for the European Championship despite being sidelined since late March.
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.