Often in the beautiful game, it’s more about those who score, pass, create, hold, tackle, and not about those who organize, distribute, stabilize, sometimes create an almost impossible score. Simply said its more about the Messi, the Ronaldo’s, than keepers such as say Manuel Neuer, so today as we have the chance let’s analyse and know today more of the best ‘Sweeper -keeper’,(the best sweeper(in footballing terms) and arguably the best keeper In the world.
The 31-year-old Manuel Neuer was born in Gelsenkirchen, in West Germany, the two time world cup winner and twice a EURO winner (and one time under 21 European championship winner,) the Bayern number 1, in 2014 finished third to only Leo (Lionel) Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, in the Ballon d Or awards, ranked the third best player in The Guardian, he also won the IFFHS best goalkeeper for 4 years between 2013 -2016. The 2014 Golden Glove winner, Neuer has played a crucial part in the German conquests over multiple world cups and a key role in the Euros, he has played in.
A part of the Schalke setup since the age of 5, Manuel Neuer, after progressing through the age groups, played for the Schalke junior team, before finally signing his first professional contract at the age of 19 with his first team debut coming in the 2006-07 season , his performances soon upended Frank rost as the first choice keeper, Neuer played a major role in securing a 2-2 draw against Bayern Munich, a performance for which he was widely praised, and which in fact put him in pole position to succeed his idol, Jens Lehmann as the German number ‘one’.
During the 2008-09 season, he was brilliant, never more so than versus Porto in the knockout stages of the champions league, when his stellar performance kept his team in the competition, his saves during the penalty shootout confirming his childhood club’s progress. One of the three players to play every minute that season Neuer, was shortlisted for the UEFA GOALKEEPER OF THE YEAR award.
His performances for Schalke and the under 21 national team, sparked interest from Bayern with Schalke chairman Felix magath having to clarify that the young keeper(the only German keeper nominated for the UEFA team of the year) was not for sale.
Appointed as the captain in the 2010-11 season, Manuel Neuer led his club by example, they for the first time in their history to the champions league semi-finals, also inspiring them to a memorable 5-0 win in the DFB Pokal (German Cup) final. The man who appeared 53 times for Schalke then made an announcement that he won’t be renewing his contract with the club, leading to disappointment and widespread criticism from the home fans.
Before the 2011-12 seasons, the shot-stopper joined FC Bayern, very soon he broke an Oliver Kahn record of not conceding, by breaking his record for the most consecutive clean sheets. The early hostilities towards the rival keeper ceased due to his performances and a talk the board had with supporter groups. One of his most memorable performances in a Bayern shirt came in the Champions league semi-finals versus Real Madrid, where the shot-stopper seven penalties of both Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo. He, however, despite taking a penalty successfully as also saving one from Juan Mata, could not repeat the win in the final when Chelsea won at the Allianz Arena, on penalties.
The highlight the next season was, in addition to his assured keeping throughout the season his performance in the champions league final was a memorable one, in an open attacking game against Borussia Dortmund both the keepers jostled to keep their teams in the game but the former Schalke man succeeded, in making 8 saves and not conceding apart from a gundogan penalty in the game.
In the 2013 season Bayern won the club world cup, soon Manuel Neuer was announced as the winner of the goalkeeper of the year award. Currently pain approximately 9 million euros per year, Manuel us one of the highest paid players in the world
A member of the FIFA 2016 -17 team of the year, Neuer has been as consistently successful at the club level, as the national stage. Winning the under 21 European championships conceding very few goals, the heir to and fan of Jens Lehmann, only grew in importance, with the death of Robert Enke and an injury to Rene Adler, he became the
G-Stopper for Die’ Mannschaft’. Conceding only one goal throughout the group stages, his awareness and ball distribution skills saw him put up an assist against his name for Miroslav Klose’s goal versus England.En route to the cup, he was simply majestic.
During the Euro 2012 qualification, Manuel Neuer played every minute for the national team, notably against turkey(3-1 win) he not only saved beautifully, a volley, he had the awareness to look up and set in motion a move leading to a goal, later directly assisting a goal.
His defining period, however, was the 2914 world cup, when his sweeper-keeper avatar (form ) really came to the fore, the ball playing skills, along with his runs out to intercept passes enabled the team to push up higher, and his aggressive running causing opponents to miss shots. His commanding displays throughout the tournament, earning him the golden glove. At Euro 2016, Neuer set the world record for not conceding at world cup tournaments, by keeping a clean sheet for 557 minutes, before Germany’s eventual loss.
The man teased as ‘ Casanova’ by his teams has dated for 6 years, Kathrin Gilch and is currently dating Nina Weiss, both beautiful professional women, Nina being sexier, in my opinion.
Widely considered as one of the best goalkeeper of all time, often the subject of trolls like (Manuel- automatic) Neuer, is ranked alongside the Legendary Lev Yashin , regarded as the complete goalie he is the only keeper to have won the Ballon d’Or, known for his super quick reflexes, understanding of the game, instinct, shot stopping, ball playing and organizational abilities acclaimed for his ability at dealing with crosses and through balls, he has created the sweeper-keeper role so useful to the Bavarians and the Germans. Adding to that not only is he adept at stopping, he can score penalties too. In one line, Manuel Neuer is the best and the ablest overall keeper around