Who is Manuel Neuer?
Manuel Neuer is a German footballer who happens to be one of the most popular contemporary goalkeepers. He is an essential part of German national football team along with his local team, Bayern Munich, and is known for his quickness and accuracy while stopping the ball from reaching the goal. Through his talent, he achieved the nickname ‘Sweeper Keeper’ and has done everything to earn the title. He has been regarded by the football experts to be the best goalkeeper in the world and is the holder of IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper Award. In the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Manuel won the Golden Glove award, given to the best performing goalkeeper in the tournament, and played a major role in Germany’s world cup triumph. The honours are never ending and still continue to come across Manuel and he is widely known as the three best footballers of contemporary times, lagging behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. For the 2018 World Cup team, Manuel was named the captain of the national team and is once again the number one contender for the Golden Glove award for the second time in a row.
Childhood & Early Life
Manuel Neuer was born in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on March 27th 1986 and started playing football at an early age of 2. In the street of their hometown, Manuel and his brother played for hours while neglecting their studies. As he grew up, his interest in the game didn’t subside and he found himself enrolled in Gesamtschule Berger Fled, just like his idol and a great footballer, Mesut Ozil.
The young and talented Manuel made his debut on the field in 1991, at a tender age of 5. He played in the youth system of Schalke and performed well beyond everybody’s expectations. The coach started paying special attention to Manuel’s game and honed his skills, hence, Manuel kept improving and by the time he was in school, he was already a professional level goalkeeper.
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Manuel Neuer started playing as a professional footballer with Schalke. He started as an amateur first but his skills made him go through every age group barrier and he signed a professional contract with the club in 2005, but couldn’t make his first appearance on the field in his first season. He got a chance to play in the second season though and performed well.
In the 2007-08 season, Manuel started playing for his team in the UEFA Champions League where in the knockout match against Porto, he kept his team’s prospect of winning the match singlehandedly alive with many saves, forcing the game into a tie, which led to the penalties. In the penalty shootout round, he made the saves and led his team straight into the quarter finals.
For his exceptional performance in the league, he was nominated for UEFA Club Goalkeeper of the Year award, but his team somehow lost. He played in 50 games in the season for his team and emerged as a new star. In the 2010-11, he was handed over the duties of the captain for Schalke, and proved a good skipper by leading his team straight into the Champions League Semi-final.
In 2011, he announced that his contract with Schalke was approaching its end and he isn’t willing to extend it further, for which he received a lot of backlash from Schalke fans. Sometime later, Manuel confirmed his switch to Bayern Munich for a whopping 22 Million German Euro, making Manuel the second most expensive goalkeeper of all time.
In a crucial 2012 match against Real Madrid, he managed to halt Kaka and Ronaldo to score penalty goals and secured his team’s place into the semi-final of the championship league and in the finals, even though he performed well, his team Munich lost to Chelsea and Manuel finished the season with a total of 53 appearances.
Neuer started the next season with a victory for his team in the German Cup and helped his team secure the 2013 Champions League trophy and bid goodbye to the season with 31 Bundesliga matches and about 20 more appearances in different tournaments across the season. The 2014-15 season was better than the last and Manuel was honoured with the German Footballer of the Year award along with a place in the UEFA Team of the Year. The season ended with Manuel making a total of 50 appearances.
Manuel started his international career with big leagues in 2009, when he was selected to be a part of national team for Asian tour. In the 2010 World Cup, Manuel became the goalkeeper for Germany and played generally well, saving many difficult goals for his team and in the 2012 Euro Cup, Manuel was a part of the team and played a major role in his team securing 10 out of 10 victories in the group stage.
In the 2014 World Cup, Manuel played exceptionally well and led his team straight into the finals, where the German team faced Argentina. Manuel had a lot of work to do in the finals and saved many goals. Germany ended up winning the tournament and for his great performance as a goalkeeper, Manuel received the ‘Golden Glove’ award.
Manuel was selected for the 2016 Euro Cup and didn’t let any team score goals against Germany in all the matches of group stage, before Italy scored one and broke the streak. The match was stretched to penalty round in which, Manuel made some sweet saves and led his team to victory and was later named Man of the Match.
Manuel Neuer is a catholic and a religious person. He is a part of charities working towards betterment of kids in the rural areas.
Manuel married his long term girlfriend, Nina Weiss, in Austria. He had a religious ceremony for his wedding sometime later in Italy. The couple dated for more than a decade before tying the knot in May 2017.
He also happens to be a big celebrity in Germany and has appeared in ‘Wer Wid Millionar’, the German version of ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’. The amount he won in the charity went straight to Manuel Neuer Kids Foundation.
As of June 2017, Manuel Neuer’s net worth is USD 40 million dollars.