There is a lot to talk about this Legend— Manuel Neuer. If you do not know him, I dare you to. Who is Manuel Neuer? A Goalkeeper? He’s much more than that.
Indescribable by mere words. He’s the best, if not one of the greatest in the business. The German defined modern goalkeeping. But what makes Manuel Neuer who he is today?
From his hometown of Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Neuer rose through his Youth team ranks and played for Schalke’s second team before being promoted to the first team.
He has had a remarkable and illustrious career, and Neuer is not stopping anytime soon. It gives me great pleasure to write about this Legendary Keeper!
|Manuel Peter Neuer
|Date of Birth
|27 March 1986
|Gelsenkirchen, West Germany
|37 Years Old
|1.93 meters (6 feet 4 inches)
|93 kg (205 lb)
|A brother, Marcel Neuer
Gesamtschule Berger Fled
|Nina Weiss (m. 2017)
|Instagram, Twitter, Facebook
Manuel Neuer | Early Career & Life | Age & Height
Born in Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia, West Germany, Manuel Peter Neuer celebrates his birthday every year on 27 March 1986. This German is 33 years at present and is almost 34 years old.
And as a goalkeeper, it’s a remarkable feat to be playing at the highest level at his age, only one other player is still in continuation, Gianluigi Buffon. But, his journey to this point is even more phenomenal.
Prominent as a goalkeeper of this generation, it is hard for anybody to imagine that he was an outfield player. But, it’s no surprise because, as a goalkeeper, you will find him defending, attacking, and creating plays as the outfields do.
Hence, even dubbed as “sweeper-keeper” for his antics both in and out of the box. Coaches were skeptical during his youth, as he didn’t possess the stature of a goalkeeper.
Goalkeepers generally should have a tall, broad frame. Well, as time went by, he proved everyone wrong; through his growth both physically and as a player.
Standing tall at 6’4″ (1.93 m), Neuer guards the post for both his club and country, not just as an undisputed starter but as a Captain. There are countless goalkeepers, and many of them are good.
However, Manuel Neuer doesn’t fall into that category. He is not just good; he is a standout. If die-hard football fans had to list their best goalkeepers, Neuer’s name wouldn’t skip anyone’s mind.
The reason is his speed, agility, and footwork, delivering passes both from his hands and legs. At the same time, Neuer is an acute game reader and has a natural shot-stopping ability with gravity-defying reflexes and dives.
Manuel Neuer | Career | Club & Country
We can call it fate, or we can call it a chance; whatever it might be, Neuer was born to be an established player. The German had his Bundesliga debut with Schalke 04 after progressing through the age group.
After Schalke 04 shot-stopper at that time, Frank Rost sustained an injury; Manuel came as a late substitute on matchday two during the 2006/07 season. Then 20-year-old, budding goalkeeper Manuel Neuer eventually earned the starting spot.
The world wasn’t prepared to witness what this ambitious German was about to give them. In fact, his performance was praiseworthy as he stunned the defending champions from Bavaria into a draw. Neuer’s performance was reminiscent of Jens Lehmann.
First Professional Career
The future was certainly looking bright for this young German when a helpless Schalke was still in the game with Neuer’s solitary efforts. Schalke was up against FC Porto in the UEFA Champions League knockout stage.
With countless saves and key decisions, he dragged the game to penalties by saving from Bruno Alves and Lisandro López. Ultimately, the team qualified for the quarter-finals.
Making 50 appearances that season, Neuer ended the year with a nomination for the Year Award’s UEFA Club Goalkeeper. Schalke number 1 was undoubtedly garnering interest from all over.
Likely so, Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge announced an interest in the blonde keeper.
Moreover, the soon-to-be Germany number one led Schalke to its first-ever spot at the Champions League Final, his last at the club.
Transfer to Bayern Munich & Criticism
Although that season would be the last for him at his hometown club, Manuel Neuer gave his best and bagged a DFB-Pokal after a 5-0 win against MSV Duisburg. Bound for Bayern Munich, the Gelsenkirchen native earned an earful of criticism.
The disappointment is understandable. Nonetheless, the criticism didn’t end there. Neuer faced hostilities from the ever-so-passionate Bayern fans.
In one of the matches, many supporters held a hand-made banner that read: ‘Koan Neuer’ translates to ‘No Neuer.’
The hostility is not because of the lack of confidence in Neuer’s qualities. Neuer had impersonated Bayern’s legendary Oliver Kahn’s goal celebration, and fans took it as utter disrespect.
Granted that it took some time for fans to warm up to him, it’s German’s best we are talking about.
After a game against TSG Hoffenheim, which saw him keep clean sheets in a row, breaking Kahn’s record, fans became more apparent as to why Neuer was there.
Commendation in the Champions League
The German shot-stopper achieved great things for both club and country. With Bayern Munich, he advanced to higher stages of Europe’s biggest competition, the UEFA Champions League.
It was the year 2012, and the game went to the penalty shoot-out. Thereafter, the Bavarian shot-stopper made critical saves from both Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaká, helping Bayern advance to the semi-finals.
The finals were against a then great Chelsea squad with Drogba and Lampard’s likes, both critical parts of the club. Like the semis, the finals were also looking to stretch to the penalty shootout.
Indeed the final was very dramatic, Bayern did everything right, and they were an inch away from clinching the title. After saving shots from Juan Mata and scoring one himself, Neuer could not keep other balls out.
After a heartbreaking loss in Allianz Arena, the German was determined to make amends. Come 2012-13 season, Manuel started it with a DFL Supercup win.
Bayern had a superb presence in the Bundesliga and was similarly dominant in the UCL. Manuel had an exceptional game as he kept clean sheets against both Juventus and Barcelona, not to mention 7-0 thrashing of Barcelona from both legs.
First European Win | 5th Title for Bayern Munich
The final was up against their Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund. It was a Champions League Der Klassiker. After what happened against Chelsea, Neuer was not looking to blow this chance again.
Unfortunately, Neuer got defeated after İlkay Gündoğan converted a penalty into a goal. But all wasn’t lost. After a series of saves, it was the battle of best, Neuer against Roman Weidenfeller.
Bayern, ultimately, saw a win with Arjen Robben’s late goal. Achievement of a lifetime, Neuer’s performance was commendable, and Bayern clinched the title.
The following season, Neuer and Bayern exacted revenge in the UEFA Supercup against Chelsea after keeping out a decisive goal. With Neuer guarding the goal, Bayern went onto win Club World Cup as well.
The same year, Neuer won Goalkeeper of the Year, and following that, he finished the third FIFA Ballon d’Or. Obviously, it was a remarkable feat, and Neuer was almost the second-ever goalkeeper to receive the Ballon d’Or, first and only being Lev Yashin.
Furthermore, Neuer was also in for some shocking revelations in the Bundesliga. After Wolfsburg went past him four times, it would become the first-ever match where he conceded four goals.
Regardless of the forgetful performance, Neuer prepared for the upcoming season.
Best in the World | Captaining for Club & Country
The 2015-16 season was a delight for most fans, as the world’s current best goalkeeper would extend his contract that would see him through 2021. The season was a mild one, like the years before, Bayern managed to win the league.
The 2016-17 season was somewhat a rocky one for Bayern and Neuer. After the quarterfinals against Real Madrid, he sustained a fracture to the left foot and downright ended his season.
Sven Ulreich stepped in for him. 2017-18 held a new role for Manuel Neuer. Germany and Bayern subsequently handed the shot-stopper captain’s armband following the retirement of German and Bayern legend Philipp Lahm.
The position was critical for the German, as we got to see a new side of him. He was a natural leader, but upon holding captaincy, Manuel realized the club’s trust in him.
Career Lows | Slew of Injuries
Again, the same season, an injury to the same left foot sidelined him until January, and even after his return, he was a substitute.
Working on his comeback and keen on retrieving his form, the new captain started the 2018-19 season with a DFL-Supercup win against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Besides an enthralling start to the season, things were not looking suitable for the Bavarian captain. A torn muscle fiber saw him miss six crucial matches in the Bundesliga as the season was drawing to a close.
Nonetheless, Neuer was back for the DFB-Pokal against RB Leipzig, a fighter at heart and a hungry player. A dominant RB Leipzig was no match for Germany’s Number 1.
3-0 victory sealed the win for Bayern, as the club won a domestic double under Neuer’s captaincy. The 2019-20 season is still underway. Bayern occupies first place after an impressive start to the second half of the 2019/2020 season.
The Bundesliga is quite exciting, especially this season. In particular, Bayern’s league leaders are at the top with a point differential of one. RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund, and Borussia Mönchengladbach are close behind.
On the other hand, Neuer is looking to extend a contract that will keep him at the club until 2023. Further news will be updated as the season progresses! Stay tuned!
The Bayern captain’s career doesn’t end there. I have yet to talk about his brilliant international career.
Any player hopes to someday play for the first team, but most importantly, a proud moment for any player is representing his/her country.
Neuer had a determination to follow his idols Jens Lehmann and Oliver Kahn’s footsteps into the national team one day. With a wonderful run with Schalke, the young shot-stoppers’ dream was about to be a reality.
Manuel Neuer International Career | Germany
Having watched Jens Lehmann’s and Edwin Van Der Sar’s impeccable goalkeeping techniques and revitalizing the “Sweeper-Keeper” techniques, Neuer would go on to be an undisputed starter and an integral part of Germany’s defense.
Initially, he made his way through Germany’s U-21 side with a debut against The Netherlands. In like manner, the German team won the UEFA European U-21 Football Championship in 2009, with a 4-0 victory against England.
After a spectacular performance, the senior team was his next destination. The German squad was on the Asian Tour, and Neuer tagged along and officially made his senior international debut against the UAE.
Road to Number 1
At first, it was difficult for him, as most people do. But, as a player with the willingness to learn from their mistake, he would gain the confidence of Die Mannschaft’s head coach Joachim Löw.
When the untimely and heartbreaking death of then Germany’s number one, Robert Enke, and an injury to René Adler, Neuer jumped ranks, and all rested upon him. To reach the World Cup is a dream for any professional player.
And, the Die Mannschaft counted on the now appointed Germany’s number one, Neuer, to guard the goal. The 2010 group stages were a shining moment for the blonde.
Conceding a total of a single goal throughout the group stage and an astonishing long-range assist, he provided Miroslav Klose with a 4-1 victory against were the highlights of that year. While this may be true, this was not Neuer’s best.
His best was yet to come. During Euro 2012, what can only be labeled as a “sensational performance,” the German shot-stopper would go on to prove why he was the best the world had to offer.
Saving close-range volleys against Turkey, throwing the ball towards the half-line for a goal, and his unwavering tendencies even when under pressure were a highlight reel of that competition.
Manuel outshone everyone in that competition, and the “so-dubbed” Group of Death saw him make stupendous saves.
For instance, two against Portugal, three against The Netherlands, and three against Denmark and helping Germany clear the group as leaders.
Club to Country | World-Cup Winner
Let’s say we saved the best moment for the last. The 2014 World Cup was the competition that forever cemented Manuel Neuer as one of the best in history.
Any person who innately watched the game would undyingly agree that Manuel Neuer’s performance was beyond legendary. The only goalkeeper that was worthy of watching was Germany’s number 1.
While many would worry and even scorn Neuer’s fearlessness to come out of the goal, his teammates could operate freely. The shot-stoppers’ stature and commendable bravery in engaging the opponents, causing them to miss chances on purpose, were splendid.
The Algerian match is the most talked-about moment in the World Cup. Reflexes, close-range saves, and outfield battle is etched in the viewers’ minds even today.
Moving on, after keeping a clean sheet against Portugal, the USA, and France, it was a record for the national team. Twenty-two clean sheets in 50 appearances is an applaudable stat.
History will forever remember the performance against Argentina on July 13. Neuer battled the best player in the world, Lionel Messi, and a very compact Argentina.
Although the brilliant goalkeeper had to make hard decisions and was under pressure quite often, nonetheless, he persevered, and the efforts came to fruition when Mario Götze gave them a winner in the 113th minute.
Now, Germany’s number 1 is a proud World Cup and a Golden Glove Winner. Also, Manuel Neuer completed more passes in the competition than any other player.
Career Downpoint | International
Furthermore, while playing in the Euro 2016, the critically lauded goalkeeper managed clean sheets until the round of 16. Finally, the German concedes against Italy in the quarter-finals.
He held a new record of 557 minutes without conceding, previously held by Germany’s Sepp Maier. Nevertheless, all the glory got wrecked during the 2018 World Cup.
Germany was suddenly knocked out from the group stage after horrific losses to Mexico and South Korea. Despite the result, Manuel Neuer held the blame for this loss and vowed to come back stronger.
As of late, the captain is busy training and getting his form again. The German is currently in Doha, working to make the coming half of the season better and, at the same time, preparing for Euro 2020 as well.
Manuel Neuer | Playing Style of German Captain
We talked about his remarkable career that had its fair share of highs and lows. Now, let’s find out what makes him so better.
The versatile keeper is stable in one-on-ones; his ability to use both his hands and legs enables him to create brilliant deliveries.
The German has an eye to read the game, anticipating the opponents’ next move and commanding his defensive line. Neuer’s effectiveness comes from his continuous communication with the defenders, advising them on what to do.
Don’t expect power shots or even close-range shots to escape Neuer’s strong hands because it is the very reason Bavarians dub him as “THE WALL.” In particular, the split-second decision-making skills, incredible footwork, and winners mentality make him dangerous.
Best known for his one-on-ones performance, stunning reflexes, ability to collect crosses, a steady composure, and not to forget his infamous “sweeper-keeper” attribute makes him the best.
Modern-day goalkeepers look up to him as an inspiration and the current world’s best keeper Alisson Becker also considered him a “huge reference.” Most of all, the Bayern goalkeeper is reliable during penalties, scoring and saving them alike.
Very adept at ball control, Neuer is swift to react even during counter-attacks or under constant pressure from the opponents. One of the goalkeeping legends, Gianluigi “Gigi” Buffon, also hailed him as the best goalkeeper of his era.
Manuel Neuer | Net Worth & Transfer Market Stats
As the Bavarian club’s undisputed starter and still the world’s best keeper, Neuer has an astounding $40 million net worth. Yearly, Neuer earns about $7.67 million. For a sportsperson, there is a separate system of value.
Unlike other celebrities, the exact value of a player depends on market value.
At 33 years old, the German has a market value of $18 million. Added to that, Bayern Munich paid Manuel Neuer’s release clause of €30 million to Schalke to receive the keeper’s services.
In detail, the Bayern shot-stopper recorded a career-high transfer market value of €45 million. While at Schalke, Neuer was earning €75k monthly. Additionally, the German captain signed with Adidas as his official outfitter.
Controversy & Activism
Regardless of the praise and achievements, Manuel Neuer isn’t free from criticism. Starting from his departure from Schalke to Bayern fans’ protest against his signing, some controversial match moments were part of his career.
Nothing comes close when people talk about the rivalry between Germany’s number one and number 2. Another shining goalkeeper is Barcelona’s reliable Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, who came into conflict with Neuer.
The reason was solely due to the former’s desire to be included as Germany’s number one. Despite Neuer’s 2018 injury and eventual inclusion as a starter in the world cup, critics quickly point to Manuel’s inability to prevent Germany’s shocking exit.
Head Coach Joachim Löw also faced criticism for his questionable judgment. Another instance saw him criticized for being gay when Neuer is married to longtime girlfriend Nina Weiss.
As it turns out, the German keeper encouraged gay players to come out, which would inspire the public to be more tolerant towards the LGBTQ community. Additionally, Manuel is a catholic and believes in giving back to the community.
After winning 500k Euros in the German version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” he donated the money to a charity foundation for children called Manuel Neuer Kids Foundation.
Apart from his footballing career, the German lent his voice for Monsters University for Frank McCay in the German dub. Who knows, after retirement, the shot-stopper’s new profession will be that of an actor.
Manuel Neuer | Relationship and Personal Life
Manuel Neuer tied the knot to longtime girlfriend, Nina Weiss. Now, Ms. Neuer, Nina, is a recognized artist who works as a painter and taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
The couple had a healthy relationship, and Nina almost always attends Bayern’s home game to support her accomplished husband. But as of recent news circulated that the Captain is dealing with a marital strain.
On the other hand, Manuel dismissed any further news and wanted privacy in this matter. Let us hope it is just a rut, and things will sort out very soon for the shot-stopper!
Social Media Presence
“Because life constantly poses challenges, living demands courage.” -Manuel Neuer
For further information on his uploads and posts, be sure to check out his social media sites. Also, for the fans that are having a hard time pronouncing his name, Manuel Neuer is pronounced as man.wel not.uh.
Manuel Neuer | FAQs
Which jersey number does Manuel Neuer feature in?
Manual Neuer features in jersey number one for both Germany National Football Team and FC Bayern Munich.
How does Manuel Neuer’s diet plan look like?
Recently, in an interview, Manuel opened about his diet plan and stated it to be similar to that of Leon Goretzka.
Furthermore, he added himself to be a healthy eater since his early days and he mostly eats gluten-free and stays away from red meat. As a bonus fun fact, Manuel Neuer dislikes getting disturbed while eating.
How is Manuel Neuer’s haircut like?
Manuel Neuer has a simple haircut that helps him keep his hair off his eyes. It’s neatly made often called a polished soccer player haircut.
What is Manuel Neuer’s rating in FIFA 21?
Manual Neuer’s overall rating in FIFA 21 is 90 with the potential of 90.
Does Manuel Neuer have a tattoo?
Yes, Manuel Neuer has a small tattoo on his right foot. It depicts a small Chinese letter for the symbol of “friendship.” However, it is unknown to which friend it refers to.