Bayern players will not be allowed to play for Germany if ter Stegen starts over Neuer: Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeness
What's the story?
Bayern Munich president, Uli Hoeness has reportedly warned the German Football Association that if Barcelona goalkeeper, Marc Andre ter Stegen takes over the German goalkeeping spot from Manuel Neuer, there will be drastic consequences for the German national team.
According to Sport Bild, Hoeness told the German football authorities that if Ter Stegen is to cement his position as the country's first choice goalkeeper over the Bayern Munich captain, then he would refuse to let any Bayern player represent Germany.
In case you didn't know...
Neuer has been one of the best goalkeepers of this century and has been consistent at the top level for almost a decade now.
Finishing in the top 3 in the Ballon d'Or rankings in 2014, Neuer has revolutionised the goalkeeping position due to his role as a 'sweeper keeper', his brilliant positioning and his lightning fast reflexes.
However, over the past few seasons, the former World Cup winner has been unfortunate with injuries, which have kept him on the sidelines for a while, subsequently, resulting in a slight dip in form.
Over the same duration, ter Stegen has cemented his place as one of the best goalkeepers in the world and has arguably been better than his German teammate over the past two seasons.
With many players in Barcelona being criticised recently due to their poor form, ter Stegen has remained one of the shining lights in Camp Nou, with his presence in front of goal being of paramount importance to Barcelona's La Liga success.
And, as good as Neuer has been for his country, ter Stegen being given the nod over the former would be fully deserved for the Barcelona shot stopper.
The heart of the matter
However, it seems that Bayern president, Hoeness is not as fond of that particular idea.
"We would never accept that," Hoeness told Sport Bild. "Before that happens, we will no longer provide players for the national team," he added.
When asked if Hoeness' threat worries him, Germany general manager Oliver Bierhoff told Sport Bild, "No, because a club is obligated to release its players for international duty as per FIFA regulations."
According to the same source, it was reported that Germany coach Joachim Löw was planning to let ter Stegen start in one of the upcoming games against Argentina (October 9) and Estonia (October 13).
Around a week ago, when the topic of letting ter Stegen start a game came up post his impressive performance against Dortmund, Hoeness said, "I believe it's a joke. Ter Stegen doesn't have a right to play there. It's different in goal compared to the outfield positions. Manuel Neuer is number one and has been the best keeper in the world for many years now. No one could argue he shouldn't be number one."
As mentioned, a club cannot technically forbid its players from reporting for international duty. However, as the president of Germany's biggest club, Hoeness has a certain amount of influence on the national team and it remains to be seen how this situation pans out and if ter Stegen is indeed preferred to Neuer.
Published 25 Sep 2019, 17:40 IST