Schweinsteiger: Van Gaal can return United to European elite

Bastian Schweinsteiger is confident that Louis van Gaal can take Manchester United back to the pinnacle of European football.

Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger believes Louis van Gaal will soon have the club back on an equal footing with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Van Gaal led United to fourth in his first season at the helm, returning the Old Trafford club to the UEFA Champions League after a seventh-placed finish in the previous campaign.

Close-season arrival Schweinsteiger, who played for Van Gaal at Bayern, is confident that upward trajectory will continue under a manager who won the Bundesliga while at the Allianz Arena.

"I am positive that – under coach Louis van Gaal – it is possible with Manchester United to usher in a new era. Similar to Bayern then," Schweinsteiger told Bild.

"This is what makes them the charm for me.

"I can promise to give everything and try with my experience to help to internationally reach the level of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern."

The 31-year-old acknowledged the lure of United was strong enough even without the added bonus of working under a familiar boss.

"If you know how a coach is ticking and how he can play football, it makes a decision easier," added the midfielder.

"But I went primarily because of the club... the fact that the coach still fits so well, of course, is ideal."