An AFP (Agence France-Presse) video journalist who asked a misguided question to newly-signed Chicago Fire forward Bastian Schweinsteiger at an introductory media conference on Wednesday has apologized for his awkward phrasing.

Journalist Apologizes For Asking Bastian Schweinsteiger Unclear Question On Chicago Fire, World Cup

The journalist, Derek Henkle, asked the 32-year-old Germany international and former Manchester United star — who signed with the Fire of MLS on March 21 — if a “World Cup goal for the Chicago Fire is a realistic expectation?”

Club teams do not compete in the World Cup, so many other journalists and players in the room were confused over the question.

Henkle later clarified in an email to The Telegraph that he intended to say “Club World Cup,” a tournament similar to the FIFA World Cup but for club teams rather than national teams. He also thanked Schweinsteiger for helping him by clarifying the question.

“I’m truly sorry if I offended anyone,” Henkle told The Telegraph. “I get that I named the wrong trophy and greatly appreciate Schweinsteiger attempting to clean up the question for me. It was a classy move,” he said.


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Henkle added that despite how sorry he feels for this mistake, he also views it as a learning experience to become more familiar with the world of soccer and its terminology. He said he reports on other topics besides sports and so is not always knowledgeable about all the details of each subject.

“My question missed its mark, but it has allowed me to become better educated on the ins and outs of soccer,” Henkle said. “I report on everything ranging from presidential politics to science – and I’m the first to admit that I don’t know everything, but I do ask.”

Schweinsteiger was initially as confused about the question as almost everyone else, but after he understood what he was being asked, he simply laughed it off.

The German recently said his 1.5 years with Manchester United, who is led by manager Jose Mourinho, were a “test of character.” He was signed by the Premier League club in July 2015 by then-manager Louis van Gaal. When Mourinho took over last summer, however, he was left to practice either on his own or with the reserves, as the Portuguese manager considered him to have surplus requirements, according to MailOnline’s Jack Gaughan.

According to Rory Smith of The New York Times, Schweinsteiger said: “I’m not really a negative thinker. It was a character test, that’s all. … Even when I was training alone, just me and one of United’s fitness coaches, I loved going onto the field, doing sprints, being at the training ground.”

The German injured himself at the end of the 2015-2016 season.

During his 13-year senior Bayern Munich career, Schweinsteiger won several Bundesliga titles and German Cups and a UEFA Champions League, and was also a FIFA World Cup winner with Germany in 2014.

He received a warm welcome upon arriving in Chicago, according to DW Sports:

The Fire will surely benefit from a player who has won so many titles with top-tier teams.

MARSEILLE, FRANCE – JULY 07: Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany controls the ball during the UEFA EURO semi final match between Germany and France at Stade Velodrome on July 7, 2016 in Marseille, France. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

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