Bastian Schweinsteiger, the German national captain, is taking legal action against a Hong Kong-based company for making Nazi figurines that bear a clear resemblance to him.
A member of Schweinsteiger’s management team confirmed the legal action to SID, the sports subsidiary of AFP on Thursday, after a report in the Bild newspaper.
The company did produced a Nazi-uniform-clad figurine with a face similar to Schweinsteiger’s and which is named “Bastian”.
Contacted by Bild, a company employee Patrick Chan denied selling any figurines based on a footballer, and said it was purely coincidental that the Nazi doll resembled Schweinsteiger.
The 30-centimetre tall figurine was “based on the typical German”, he said. “We thought that all Germans look like that.”
The figurine, marketed as “WWII Army Supply Duty”, comes with several apparels — including a version with a steel helmet, white winter jacket and woollen gloves, and another in a typical army uniform, complete with the “Wehrmachtsadler” insignia — an eagle with a swastika above the right breast pocket.
Schweinsteiger was named captain of the German team last year after Philipp Lahm’s international retirement.
The Manchester United midfielder was a key member of the squad that won the World Cup in 2014.