Schweinsteiger brushes aside captaincy pressure

On the brink of his first start as full-time Germany captain, Bastian Schweinsteiger has downplayed the pressure on his shoulders.

Bastian Schweinsteiger downplayed the significance of his ascension to the role of Germany captain, ahead of his first appearance since their World Cup win.

The Bayern Munich midfielder played all 120 minutes in the Germans' 1-0 extra-time victory over Argentina in Rio de Janeiro in July, helping Joachim Low's men to a fourth world title.

Schweinsteiger has not appeared for his country since, with Germany playing four European Championship qualifiers and two friendlies to round out their successful 2014 - but the Bayern stalwart was sidelined by a left knee problem.

Predecessor Philipp Lahm retired following the World Cup win.

Preparing to wear the armband as Germany's full-time captain for the first time, Schweinsteiger said he did not feel any extra pressure - ahead of their friendly against Australia in Kaiserslautern on Wednesday.

"That [captaincy] doesn't really change a lot," Schweinsteiger said. 

"I'm this type of player who thinks that to have success there have to be 11 captains on the field. 

"And with all the titles I won, we had this kind of team. All in all, the new position doesn't change much."

Schweinsteiger said he will not try to emulate any one previous leader of the side in his reign.

"I'm not trying to copy anyone. I have had the big honour to play under renowned captains and coaches," the 30-year-old said. 

"By observing all the captains I could get some inspiration, every captain has something individual. I tried to learn from that and now I'll try to pass it on. 

"Sure, it's an enormous responsibility but as well a huge challenge. 

"I have been captain at different times before, the difference is that now it is official."

The 108-cap veteran said Holger Badstuber and Ilkay Gundogan would be given ample time to readjust to life back in the national squad.

Defender Badstuber has had four knee operations since his last international outing in October 2012, while Gundogan last appeared for Germany in August 2013 after battles with a back issue.

"With these two players it's totally different because they were absent for much longer than I was," Schweinsteiger said of the returning duo. 

"But sure, if you are missing for such a long time because of an injury it takes a while to play at the highest level, but you just have to know how to handle this situation. 

"During that you learn a lot about your body and what you can do with an injury. 

"All in all, especially with Holger Badstuber and Ilkay Gundogan I'm really glad that they are back in the national team."