Manuel Neuer

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Manuel Neuer
Neuer training with Bayern Munich in 2017
Neuer training with Bayern Munich in 2017
Personal information
Full name Manuel Peter Neuer[1]
Date of birth (1986-03-27) 27 March 1986 (age 31)
Place of birth Gelsenkirchen, West Germany
Height 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)[2][3]
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Bayern Munich
Number 1
Youth career
1991–2005 Schalke 04
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2006 Schalke 04 II 29 (0)
2006–2011 Schalke 04 156 (0)
2011– Bayern Munich 190 (0)
National team
2004 Germany U18 1 (0)
2004–2005 Germany U19 11 (0)
2005–2006 Germany U20 4 (0)
2006–2009 Germany U21 20 (0)
2009– Germany 74 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:19, 16 September 2017 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 20:51, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

Manuel Peter Neuer (German pronunciation: [ˈmaːnu̯ɛl ˈnɔʏ.ɐ]; born 27 March 1986) is a German professional footballer who plays for Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and the Germany national team. He is a goalkeeper and serves as captain for Bayern Munich and captain of Germany. Neuer has been described as a "sweeper-keeper" because of his unique playing style and speed when rushing off his line to anticipate opponents;[4][5][6] he is also known for his quick reflexes, excellent shot-stopping abilities, strength, long throwing range, command of his area and accurate control and distribution of the ball.[7][8][9][10]

Regarded by pundits as the best goalkeeper in the world (he is the current holder of the IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper award, which he has won for the past four consecutive years since 2013),[11][12][13][14][15] and as one of the best and most complete goalkeepers of all-time,[14][16][17] Neuer won the 2014 FIFA World Cup with Germany as well as the Golden Glove award for being the best goalkeeper in the tournament,[18] and is considered by some in the sport to be the best goalkeeper in football since Lev Yashin.[4][19]

In 2014, Neuer finished third in the voting, behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, for the FIFA Ballon d'Or award. The same year, he was ranked the third-best player in the world by The Guardian.[20]

Club career

Schalke

Neuer in 2005

Neuer played for Schalke 04 II during the 2003–04,[21] 2004–05, 2006–07,[22] and 2008–09.[22] Neuer signed professional terms in 2005 after progressing through every age group at his hometown club, Schalke 04. Neuer didn't make any first team appearances during the 2005–06 season.[23] He made his Bundesliga debut with Schalke when he came on to substitute the injured Frank Rost on matchday 2 of the 2006–07 season. The 20-year-old eventually won the starting position when Rost was surprisingly dropped for the crunch clash against Bayern Munich. Neuer did not disappoint and managed to secure a 2–2 draw against the defending champions. He made 27 league appearances during the 2006–07 season.[22] Despite his young age, he was widely tipped to be a potential successor to his former idol Jens Lehmann in the future for the German national team.[24]

Neuer in 2007

Neuer started the 2007–08 season by playing in three matches in the German League Cup.[25] On 5 March 2008, in the first knockout round of the UEFA Champions League against Porto, he almost single-handedly kept Schalke in the game with several saves, forcing the game into penalties. He then saved penalties from Bruno Alves and Lisandro López to help Schalke advance to the quarter-finals. For his heroics, he was shortlisted for the 2007–08 UEFA Club Goalkeeper of the Year award; he was the youngest as well as the only Bundesliga goalkeeper on the list.[26] He was one of only three Bundesliga players to play every minute in the 2007–08 season. He finished the season by making 50 appearances in all competitions.[27]

In the 2008–09 season, Schalke finished eighth in the league table and missed out on a Europa League spot. However, his good showing at the 2009 Under-21 European Championships sparked interest from Bayern Munich, with Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge declaring interest in signing the young goalkeeper. Schalke's new manager Felix Magath, however, insisted that Neuer "will play for Schalke next season".[28] In November, he was the only German goalkeeper in the list of five nominated goalkeepers for the UEFA Team of the Year.[29]

Neuer finished the 2009–10 season with 39 appearances.[30]

For the 2010–11 season, Neuer was appointed captain and led the team to its first Champions League semi-final appearance.[31] He also won the DFB Pokal in his final season with the club, as Schalke defeated MSV Duisburg 5–0.[32] On 20 April 2011, he announced that he would not be extending his contract with Schalke, which was set to expire at the end of the 2011–12 season.[33] He earned criticism by Schalke fans, who were disappointed with him leaving for a rival club. Neuer finished the season with 53 appearances.[34]

FC Bayern

2011–12 season

Neuer saving Juan Mata's penalty kick in the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final

On 1 June 2011, Schalke and Bayern Munich confirmed that Neuer would move to Bayern in July 2011.[35] Neuer signed a five-year contract that lasted until June 2016. The move was worth a reported €22 million.[citation needed] After hostilities of Bayern fans against Neuer (some fans were unhappy about Bayern buying a Schalke keeper), a round-table discussion between Bayern and group of supporters' representatives took place on 2 July 2011. Among other things, it was decided that Manuel Neuer will be "regarded as a full member of the FC Bayern Munich team, who should be treated with due respect. Furthermore, hostility towards him should cease".[36] Right in the first weeks at Bayern, after a 0–0 draw with 1899 Hoffenheim, Neuer broke the Bayern Munich record for most competitive clean sheets in a row, having gone over 1,000 minutes without conceding. He improved the record formerly held by Oliver Kahn.[37]

On 25 April 2012, Neuer saved penalty kicks from both Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaká and helped Bayern through the 2011–12 Champions League semi-finals against Real Madrid. Following the match, Neuer has revealed that he studied the way Ronaldo took his penalties. Neuer told Bild, "I always prepare myself for such situations. Our goalkeeping coach, Toni Tapalovic, showed me on his laptop before the match how Ronaldo usually takes his penalties. I learned that Ronaldo prefers to send the ball low to his left. In the penalty shoot-out, I was convinced that he would aim for his favourite spot."[38]

Bayern went on to progress to the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final against Chelsea, which also went to a penalty shoot-out after a 1–1 draw. He took and scored the third penalty for Bayern and also saved the first penalty taken by Juan Mata, but could not save the rest of the penalties as Munich lost the trophy 4–3 on penalties in their home stadium, the Allianz Arena. Neuer finished the season with 53 appearances.[39]

2012–13 season

Neuer started the season by winning the German Super Cup.[40] In the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League knockout phase, Neuer posted four clean sheets in a row versus both Juventus and Barcelona. In the 2013 Champions League Final against Borussia Dortmund, Neuer posted eight saves en route to Bayern's fifth Champions League title. The game featured great play from both keepers, and Neuer would end up winning the duel against Roman Weidenfeller having only conceded once to İlkay Gündoğan on a penalty shot. Neuer finished the season with 31 Bundesliga appearances,[41] five German Cup appearances,[41] 13 UEFA Champions League appearances,[41] and a German Super Cup appearance.[40]

2013–14 season

Neuer started the season by losing in the German Super Cup to Borussia Dortmund.[42] For the 2013 UEFA Super Cup, on 30 August 2013, he saved the last and decisive penalty which saw Bayern Munich win the match against Chelsea, taking some revenge for the lost 2012 UEFA Champions League Final.[43] In the FIFA Club World Cup, Neuer played against Guangzhou Evergrande in the semi-final[44] and Raja Casablanca in the final.[45] Neuer was announced as the 2013 World Goalkeeper of the year on 7 January 2014.[46] On 9 February, Bayern faced Arsenal in the Champions League knockout phase and Neuer saved the penalty from Mesut Özil in the first half. Bayern went on to win the game 2–0 away. On 2 May 2014, Neuer extended his current contract until the summer of 2019.[47] Neuer finished the season with 31 Bundesliga appearances,[48] five German Cup appearances,[48] 12 UEFA Champions League appearances,[48] one German Super Cup appearance,[42] one UEFA Super Cup appearance,[43] two FIFA Club World Cup appearances[44][45] for a total of 50 appearances.

2014–15 season

Neuer won the German footballer of the year,[49] was voted into the UEFA Team of the Year,[50] and finished third in the FIFA Ballon d'Or.[51] Neuer started the season by losing the German Super Cup to Borussia Dortmund.[52] On 30 January 2015, Neuer started[53] on matchday 18, where Bayern lost to VfL Wolfsburg 4–1.[54] This is the first league match since joining Bayern in 2011 where he has given up four goals in a match. The last time Bayern had given four goals in a match was against Wolfsburg on 4 April 2009.[54] On 28 April 2015, Neuer was one of four Bayern players to miss in a 2–0 penalty shootout defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the DFB-Pokal semi-final.[55] Neuer finished the season with 32 Bundesliga appearances,[56] five German Cup appearances,[56] 12 UEFA Champions League appearances,[56] and one German Super Cup appearance[52] for a total of 50 appearances.

2015–16 season

The season started[57] when Neuer started in the 1–1 draw against VfL Wolfsburg in the German Super Cup.[58] Wolfsburg won the subsequent shootout.[58] On 20 April 2016, Neuer extended his contract with Bayern until 2021. Neuer finished the season with 34 Bundesliga appearances,[59] five German Cup appearances,[59] 11 UEFA Champions League appearances,[59] and one German Cup appearances[58] for a total of 51 appearances.

2016–17 season

Neuer's season began with a 2–0 win over Borussia Dortmund at the German Super Cup as FC Bayern won the title for the first time in three years and kept a clean sheet in the Bundesliga opener as FC Bayern grabbed a 6–0 win over Werder Bremen. In January 2017, he was voted into FIFA Team of the Year alongside fellow German and former Bayern teammate Toni Kroos. Neuer conceded twice in FC Bayern's matches against Arsenal F.C. as the bavarians beat the English team with an impressive 10–2 aggregate in the round of 16 of the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League. Neuer then was praised for his performance in their first game of the quarterfinals against Real Madrid C.F. although Bayern lost 1–2 to the Spanish club. During the second leg, he suffered a left foot fracture that ended his season abruptly as Bayern lost 4–2 in a controversial match.[60] FC Bayern ended the season as Bundesliga champions.

On 19 July 2017, it was announced that Neuer would become the captain of Bayern following Philipp Lahm's retirement, making him a double captain of both Bayern and Germany national football team.[61]

2017–18 season

After undergoing surgery for the foot injury he had suffered in April, it was announced in September that Neuer would be ruled out until January 2018.[62]

International career

Youth

After progressing through the youth teams, Neuer made his Germany under-21 debut on 15 August 2006 against the Netherlands. He won the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship with Germany in Sweden, and kept a clean sheet in the 4–0 win in the final against England.

2010 World Cup

Neuer playing for Germany in 2011

Neuer was called up on 19 May 2009 to the senior German squad for a tour of Asia.[63] He made his debut on this tour in a match against the United Arab Emirates on 2 June.[64] He played in the November friendly against the Ivory Coast that ended 2–2. Although he took responsibility for the first goal conceded, manager Joachim Löw refused to blame him and instead commended him for doing his best.[65]

The death of keeper Robert Enke in November 2009 saw him elevated as the second choice goalkeeper behind René Adler. Adler, however, suffered a serious rib injury which ruled him out of the upcoming 2010 World Cup – Neuer became Germany's first choice goalkeeper ahead of Tim Wiese and Hans-Jörg Butt for the tournament.[66]

Neuer was selected as Germany's number one goalkeeper for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.[67] During the group stages, he only conceded a single goal, a close range shot by Milan Jovanović in the match against Serbia. He provided the assist for Miroslav Klose's opening goal against England, winning 4–1. He played in all of Germany's World Cup matches apart from the third-place game against Uruguay, when Hans-Jörg Butt was rewarded with a spot in the starting lineup.[68]

Euro 2012

Neuer in action for Germany in their Euro 2012 group stage match against Netherlands on 13 June

Neuer played every minute of every match in the qualification campaign for UEFA Euro 2012, helping Germany to secure ten wins out of ten games and top their group. After Germany's 3–1 away win against Turkey, he was especially praised for his "sensational" performance. He retained a close range volley shot by Hamit Altıntop, and then he quickly threw the ball to the halfway line into the feet of Thomas Müller, who immediately provided the assist for Mario Gómez's opening goal. Neuer then set up the second goal; under pressure by Turkish attackers, he fired a precise long range kick to Mario Götze deep in the opponent's half, who then found Müller on the edge of the opponent's penalty box to score.[69] Neuer started all three of Germany's matches in the oft-dubbed "Group of Death", Group B. He kept a clean sheet against Portugal while also conceding one goal each to the Netherlands and Denmark. Germany went on to win Group B, being the only team in the tournament to win all of their group stage games. He finished group play posting two saves against Portugal, three against the Netherlands and three again against Denmark.

2014 World Cup

Neuer training before the match against Brazil at the 2014 FIFA World Cup on 7 July.
Argentina's Gonzalo Higuaín challenging Germany's Mats Hummels and Neuer during the final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Neuer's "sweeper-keeper" playing style distinguished him from other starting goalkeepers in the 2014 World Cup. This was credited with allowing his teammates to press deep in their opponents' half, plus Neuer's willingness to come out and challenge opposing attackers caused them to miss shots on net.[70] Neuer's outfield roaming which had made him the team's "11th man" has been attributed to the coaching he received from Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola.[71]

After keeping clean sheets in group matches against Portugal and the United States, Neuer recorded his third clean sheet of the World Cup in the 1–0 quarter-final defeat of France. This was his 22nd clean sheet overall in his 50th appearance for die Nationalmannschaft.[72] In the semi-finals, Neuer conceded a late goal as his team routed hosts Brazil 7–1.

On 13 July, in the FIFA World Cup Final against Argentina, Neuer was not heavily tested but he nonetheless commanded his penalty area well, challenging attacking runs by Gonzalo Higuaín and Rodrigo Palacio that caused them to shoot wide of the net (ending up Argentina finished without a shot on goal despite several good chances).[70] Early in the second half, Neuer punched the ball clear before colliding with Higuaín at the edge of the box.[73] Germany ultimately defeated Argentina 1–0 thanks to a Mario Götze goal in extra time. Neuer won the Golden Glove award for the tournament's best goalkeeper.[74]

Euro 2016

On 31 May 2016. Neuer was selected for Germany's final 23 man squad for UEFA Euro 2016. During the tournament, Neuer has not conceded goals in any of Germany's matches in the group stage and the round of 16.[75] On 2 July 2016, his matches of not conceding came to an end against Italy but he set a record in minutes he conceded as it only took him 557 minutes for him to concede in any major tournament with it being previously held by Sepp Maier who only took 481 minutes to concede and Neuer helped Germany beat Italy in the penalty shootout and was the Man of the Match for his performance.[76]

2018 World Cup

Prior to the start of qualification, on 1 September 2016, Neuer was named new captain of the national team, following Bastian Schweinsteiger's retirement from international football.[77]

Style of play

Considered by many in the media to be the current best goalkeeper in the world, and one of the greatest goalkeepers both of his generation and of all time, Neuer is widely regarded as a "complete" and modern goalkeeper; he is regarded by some in the sport to be the best goalkeeper in football since Lev Yashin, who is so far the only goalkeeper to have won the Ballon d'Or. A tall, large, and physically strong player, Neuer has earned critical acclaim from former players and pundits for his speed, stamina, composure, concentration, and mentality, as well as for being able to adapt to any given situation on the pitch. He is particularly known for his exceptional reflexes, shot-stopping abilities, speed, and footwork, as well as his ability to read the game, and come out to collect crosses, which enables him to command his area effectively. When the situation demands, he will also often essentially fill the role of a sweeper when opposing players have beaten the offside trap or his team's defensive line, by quickly rushing out of goal to anticipate opponents and clear the ball; his skill in this area enables his teams to maintain a high defensive line. Because of his unique playing style, Neuer has been described as a "sweeper-keeper", and has been credited with revolutionising the role of the goalkeeper in modern times. Furthermore, he is effective at both stopping and scoring from penalties. Although he has been praised for his positioning and ability in one-on-one situations, certain pundits have also cited these aspects of his game as areas for improvement, however. In addition to his goalkeeping ability, Neuer has also been praised for his excellent ball control and for his accurate distribution of the ball with both his hands and feet; his long throwing range and ability to kick the ball into deep areas with either foot enables him to create plays or launch swift counter-attacks from the back. Regarding his skill on the ball in comparison to other players in his role, Neuer has stated that he could play in the German third division as a centre-back if so desired. Due to his leadership and vocal presence in goal, he also excels in organising his team's defensive line.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][78][79][80][81][82]

Personal life

Neuer was born in Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia. He attended Gesamtschule Berger Feld, like many other notable footballers, such as Mesut Özil. His brother Marcel is currently a football referee in the Verbandsliga.[83] He got his first football when he was two and had his first game on 3 March 1991, 24 days before his fifth birthday.[84] Neuer's hero and idol as a child was fellow German and former Schalke goalkeeper Jens Lehmann.[85]

Neuer is a Catholic, and lends his support to a Gelsenkirchen-based Catholic social action group which campaigns against child poverty as well as a Gelsenkirchen-based youth club run by the Amigonians.[86]

Neuer started a charity foundation for children, named the Manuel Neuer Kids Foundation.[87] In November 2011, he won €500,000 for charity in a celebrity edition of Wer wird Millionär?, the German version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?[88]

Neuer did the voiceover for character Frank McCay in the German version of the 2013 Disney animation Monsters University.[89]

On 21 May 2017, Neuer married longtime girlfriend Nina Weiss in Tannheim, Austria, in a civil ceremony, which was followed by church wedding in the Cathedral of Santissima della Madia in Monopoli, Italy on 10 June.[90][91]

Career statistics

Club

As of 16 September 2017
Club Season League Cup1 Continental2 Other3 Total Ref.
League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Schalke 04 II 2003–04 Regionalliga Nord 1 0 1 0 [21]
2004–05 Oberliga Westfalen 24 0 24 0
2006–07 3 0 3 0 [22]
2008–09 Regionalliga West 1 0 1 0 [22]
Totals 29 0 29 0
Schalke 04 2005–06 Bundesliga 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 [23]
2006–07 27 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 27 0 [22]
2007–08 34 0 3 0 10 0 3 0 50 0 [25][27]
2008–09 27 0 2 0 5 0 34 0 [22]
2009–10 34 0 5 0 39 0 [30]
2010–11 34 0 6 0 12 0 1 0 53 0 [34]
Totals 156 0 16 0 27 0 4 0 203 0
Bayern Munich 2011–12 Bundesliga 33 0 5 0 14 0 52 0 [39]
2012–13 31 0 5 0 13 0 1 0 50 0 [40][41]
2013–14 31 0 5 0 12 0 4 0 52 0 [42][43][44][45][48]
2014–15 32 0 5 0 12 0 1 0 50 0 [52][56]
2015–16 34 0 5 0 11 0 1 0 51 0 [58][59]
2016–17 26 0 4 0 9 0 1 0 40 0 [92]
2017–18 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 4 0 [93]
Totals 190 0 29 0 72 0 8 0 299 0
Career totals 375 0 45 0 99 0 12 0 531 0

International

As of 11 October 2016[94]
German national team
Year Apps Goals
2009 2 0
2010 13 0
2011 10 0
2012 11 0
2013 8 0
2014 13 0
2015 6 0
2016 11 0
Total 74 0

Honours

Club

Schalke 04[95]
Bayern Munich[95]

International

Germany[95][96]

Individual

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External links

  • Official website (in German)
  • Manuel Neuer at fcbayern.de
  • Manuel Neuer at fussballdaten.de (in German)
  • Manuel NeuerFIFA competition record
  • Manuel NeuerUEFA competition record
  • Manuel Neuer at ESPN FC
  • Manuel Neuer at National-Football-Teams.com
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