I Try To Wear Them For As Long As I Can - Kit Talk With Bastian Schweinsteiger

Bastian Schweinsteiger is the latest player to answer Man Utd's 'Kit Talk' questions after Ander Herrera already revealed that has been wearing the same shin pads since he was eight years old in Manchester United's first Kit Talk. The Kit Talk series ask Manchester United's players about the secrets of their boots, jerseys and other gear.

Kit Talk: Bastian Schweinsteiger

Here is the full interview of Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Why do you wear things in a certain way, such as long sleeves or tucking your shirt in?
There is a reason why I do something – my socks. I like thin socks. Sometimes, I have to prepare them wet so they become much more thin. I try to get a lot of feeling into my foot. It's a thing I started to do seven or eight years ago and I still do it.

How does that work? Do you bring your own socks in or is it done in the changing room beforehand?
Sometimes I bring my own socks or Adidas help me but, for example, if we have a game, I can do it on my own and also prepare my boots before the game. I do it on my own because it's mine and I want to perform so it's better to do it myself.

Does that make a difference psychologically or does it give you a different feeling?
I can feel it's different. I have a different feeling when I touch the ball and when I run.

And it's something you've only done for the past eight years or so?
Yes, in the last eight years I've started to do that. With some players, I don't know, maybe they think about which boots they are going to wear for the games for the same rhythm. I also have the same rhythm in the way I prepare myself for the games.

Do you have any other superstitions or pre-match rituals?
Not really. There are maybe some who do but not me.

Do you change your boots regularly?
I have different pairs but, actually, when I wear boots which are good and fit very comfortably, I try to wear them for as long as I can. Yes, sometimes, I can wear them for two, three or four months.

Some players have personalised shinpads, do you?
Yes, I also have my own shinpads. Adidas created special shinpads for me and they are perfect; not big but they protect me. They are thin but protective and that's good, especially when you have a lot of tackles and you feel different.

Do Adidas provide special help and care for you?
They do. I have to say they are a German company [laughs] so that is why! They are great and you can talk to them about everything. They try to do their best and really listen to your ideas.

How does that work? Do people come to the training ground to meet you one-to-one?
Yes, exactly. There is one person who is ready for us, 24 hours, and when you have anything you need to talk to them about, if you need different socks or something else, you just can call him up and ask him.

Why do you wear the no.31?
Actually, since I played my first game for Munich, I had the same number. I don't know why they gave me that. At the end of the day, I came to the dressing room and there was a shirt with my name on it and that number. I still have this number on my back but it doesn't really have a story behind it, it just happened.

Do you keep any shirts from your opponents?
Yes, especially when I started to become a professional player, I kept some shirts and I changed with some big players. I keep them at home in a box.

Do you have any plans for what you might want to do with them later on?
Maybe show ones to my own children and my brother is also a big fan, especially of Ryan Giggs. When I played for Bayern against United I asked Ryan at half-time if I could have his shirt for my brother. So it makes some people happy and that is, more or less, the reason why I do it.

Do you have a favourite United kit from the past?
I am addicted to the red shirt. I like the colour red. I am a fan of red, white and black. I think it is the best kit for United.

Do you have any pre-match rituals? Let us know in the comments below.
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