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Bedraggled Schweinsteiger 'World Cup' journalist offers apology

The reporter who asked Bastian Schweinsteiger if he could win the World Cup with MLS side Chicago Fire has offered an apology following a "tumultuous 24 hours".

Derek Henkle, a video journalist for AFP, asked the former Germany captain if winning the World Cup was a realistic objective for the club after his move from Manchester United.

The incident went viral and prompted plenty of scorn from social media users around the world, and Henkle admits that the experience has helped him to understand better the finer points of major football competitions.

"At first, I thought the question was lost in translation," Henkle - who suggested he had meant to ask about Fire winning the Club World Cup, for which they would qualify with victory in the CONCACAF Champions League - told Sports Feed.

"It was just lost in my brain of just not having knowledge of what the appropriate cup was to ask.

"What I was trying to ask and get at was whether we could expect big trophies out of the Chicago Fire, especially after the success of the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Blackhawks.

"I think we have a world famous set of sports fans here in Chicago and I wanted to know if that would translate to Chicago Fire with Bastian joining the team. I really appreciate how he helped me out at the end.

"It's been quite a tumultuous 24 hours for me, pretty aggressive on social media and stuff. As journalists we like accountability and I'm here to provide that.

"I didn't think any of this would occur and I'm just trying to be transparent. I really hope everyone will accept my apology here."

Henkle had earlier apologised for the mistake, explaining that, as a general assignment reporter, he does not always have first-hand knowledge of the topic.

"I'm truly sorry if I offended anyone," he told The Telegraph via email.

"My question missed its mark, but it has allowed me to become better educated on the ins and outs of soccer.

"I may have been one of the only general assignment guys in the room - but I believe, like a lot of Chicago, that Bastian Schweinsteiger's arrival presents an amazing opportunity for those of us who want to experience soccer to more fully embrace the sport."

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