Bayern Munich’s first-choice goalkeeper and club captain, Manuel Neuer has extended his stay with the Bavarian giants for three more seasons, as announced by the club on May 20. This will see the Germany national team skipper staying at the club until June 30, 2023.
The 34-year-old has been one of the pillars of Bayern Munich’s setup over the years. Having joined the club in the summer of 2011 from FC Schalke, the towering German has risen through the ranks to become a club legend, having donned the Bavarian jersey more than 240 times and having kept more than 180 clean sheets till date – a massive achievement in itself.
A resplendent trophy cabinet
Neuer is considered as one of those players in the world of football who has won all that is there to offer – both at the club stage as well as internationally. A World Cup winner with Germany in 2014, the Gelsenkirchen-born player’s trophy cabinet is filled with seven Bundesliga titles, five DFB Cups and four DFL Supercups from the domestic circuit. Alongside these, he was a part of the historic treble-winning Bayern Munich squad, which won both the Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup in 2013.
His honours do not end just here! He became the proud recipient of the World Cup Golden Glove award in 2014, the same year he helped Die Mannschaft script history. Alongside this accolade, he has also been adjudged the ‘World’s Best Goalkeeper’ for four consecutive years, from 2013 to 2016 and the ‘German Player of the Year’ in 2011 and 2014.
The Numero Uno Sweeper-Keeper worldwide
Neuer surprised one and all in 2014 when he came off his lines and rushed out of the box in do-or-die World Cup matches to fend off serious attacks, which gradually earned him the title of a ‘Sweeper-Keeper’. A unique trait, done with such aplomb that it keeps spectators and experts wide-eyed, the German’s unparalleled abilities on the ball has helped Bayern Munich spearhead attacks right from the back.
Over the years, he has added several layers to his playing style to enhance his sweeper-keeper skills. Previously, while he used to dash out only to clear dangerous balls or attacking threats, now he displays impressive ball control and can be seen outfoxing opposition players with eye-catching skills before passing the ball to his teammates. His long crosses across the field also ensure that Bayern are provided with ample opportunities to counter-attack.
Neuer, now, has been presented with the opportunity to take his legacy further in the Bayern Munich colours, with Hansi Flick leading the ship. Though many expect him to be past his prime, having sustained a metatarsal fracture two years back, his tally of 16 clean sheets in the 2019-20 season has a different story to tell. So one can surely expect more records to be broken and new chapters being written as he continues to man the post for the German giants.
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