Bastian Schweinsteiger became one of the highest-paid footballers in America on his arrival at Chicago Fire, but it would appear the German isn't overly enthused by the standard of play in Major League Soccer.
The German World Cup-winner blew into the Windy City from Manchester United, after an essentially fruitless spell under both Louis van Gaal and José Mourinho at Old Trafford. He might well have felt the tone was set when, at his unveiling, one American reporter asked him if he could help steer The Fire to World Cup glory; the type of press conference moment we might in 2017 associate more with a Soccer AM sketch than a legitimate query from an American sports journalist.
It seems that lack of understanding and footballing intuition hasn't quite yet been wiped off the pitch, either, based on Schweinsteiger's interview with Suddeutsche Zeitung in his homeland, to whom Schweinsteiger provided the following rather damning assessment of MLS:
We all know that this league is just not like the Premier League or the Bundesliga.
And, of course, it can be frustrating on the pitch at times when things discussed [in the team meeting] are not implemented or when somebody loses a ball or just does not have an eye for the teammate.
I don't blame anyone for it, that's my problem - I need to adapt to the league and cope with those situations.
If you compare it to Bayern Munich or the national team [Germany], the difference is huge. But I knew what I let myself in for.
The league is interesting because it's evident everyone can beat everyone. And sometimes things happen you just don't understand. This might be referee decisions or the running paths or passes of a teammate. It's different than in Europe, but you have to take things as they are.
Schweinsteiger did point out that MLS has serious "potential." Notably, he didn't mention Manchester United in his comparisons between European football and MLS. One can only hope that his experience at United will smooth the transition between elite-level performance and slumming it in MLS for over $5m per year.