Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is suing a Chinese toymaker over a lookalike Nazi doll named ‘Bastian’.
German World Cup winner and national team skipper Schweinsteiger has contacted his lawyers over the figure, although the company marketing the Bastian range insist the likeness is ‘purely coincidental’.
The toy soldiers are dressed as Wehrmacht veterans, including a swastika-bearing eagle on their uniform.
German publication Bild fumed: “Our football hero Bastian Schweinsteiger as a Nazi soldier!”
The figures had been due to hit the shelves in Europe for £65 each, but that now looks unlikely after Schweinsteiger took legal advice.
Hong Kong firm DiD is behind the range. They also produce James Bond and WW1 soldier toys.
A representative from the company, Patrick Chan, told Bild : “We offer no figures based on the football. The resemblance is purely coincidental.
“The figure is based on a typical German. We believe most Germans look like this. Bastian is a common name in Germany.”
Bild acknowledged legal proceedings were underway, with media lawyer Ulrich Amelung adding: “This is a clear violation of the rights of Schweinsteiger.
“The portrayal of him wearing a swastika uniform is a clear case of defamation and insult.”