German footballer Bastian Schweinsteiger is to take legal action against a toy company which made a Nazi doll that bore a striking resemblance to him.
The firm DiD has produced a figurine in Nazi uniform with a face like Schweinsteiger’s and, as if to stress the likeness, they have called the doll “Bastian”.
“We thought that all Germans look like that,” an employee of the Hong Kong-based firm told Bild.
Patrick Chan from DiD insisted it was pure coincidence that the doll resembled the German captain. Indeed, had they not called the figurine Bastian, the company may well have avoided legal action.
“We don’t sell any figures which resemble footballers. It is a complete coincidence that the figure ‘Bastian’ looks like Schweinsteiger,” Mr Chan said.
The dolls are sold as “WWII Army Supply Duty”, and the figurine comes in several outfits – including full Nazxi regalia.
The doll is on sale for about $120 (£80).
A member of Schweinsteiger’s management team confirmed the player would be taking legal action.
“This is a clear violation of Schweinsteiger’s personality rights,” lawyer Ulrich Amelung told Bild. “Everyone has rights to their own image. To see him as a swastika-bearing Wehrmacht soldier also constitutes a gross defamation and insult.”
The Manchester United midfielder was a member of the squad that won the World Cup in 2014.