Manuel Neuer is a German goalkeeper and the captain of the German national football team and FC Bayern Munchen in the Bundesliga.
He is widely regarded as one of the finest goalkeepers in the world in the current era. His offensive style of play has earned him many fans and critics alike, but Neuer has defined the role of a 'sweeper keeper'.
Neuer was born on 27 March 1986 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Neuer developed his unique goalkeeping style in his hometown club Schalke where he spent his youth career.
Comparisons with Jens Lehmann did not bog him down. Rather, he made a move to German powerhouse Bayern Munich in 2011 and has produced staggering performances on a regular basis.
Neuer has represented Germany in Under-18, U19, U20 and U21 levels before making his senior team debut in a friendly against UAE in 2009.
Neuer was escalated to the post of first choice goalkeeper for Germany in 2010 FIFA World Cup in challenging circumstances.
The top contender Robert Enke committed suicide leaving the German team shocked and goalkeeper slot vacant when Neuer filled in.
Rise to Glory
Neuer had a highly impressive 2010 World Cup where he conceded only three goals in the six games played.
He made a high-profile switch to Bayern and since then became one of the most reliable man between the posts.
He is a regular mention in the top goalkeeping honors owing to his incredible shot stopping ability and reflexes.
He was the Man of the Match in the finals of 2012-13 Champions League where Bayern beat arch rivals Borussia Dortmund 2-1. Neuer has a knack of getting forward to create attacks for his team or rush way ahead of the box to avert dangerous situations.
His contribution in 2014 FIFA World Cup was not just restricted to fulfilling the banal goalkeeping duties but to create attacks through his distribution. He did not put a foot wrong in the entire tournament as Germany lifted the title by beating Argentina in the finals.
Neuer won the Golden Glove for his performances. He was also nominated for the Ballon d'or for 2014. However, he could not stop the Messi-Ronaldo juggernaut as he finished third.
In the 2016 Euros, Neuer emerged as the German hero for umpteenth time in the quarterfinals, against Italy, where he made crucial saves in a crazy penalty shootout to win the match for his team.
Neuer has had few major injuries that has kept him out of action. He has been sidelined with a foot injury as recently as in 2017, which has forced him to miss almost the entire 2017-18 season.
Neuer made over 200 appearances in all competitions for Schalke 04 between 2006-11 and led them to DFB Pokal Cup title and Champions League semis in 2011.
He has an enviable trophy record for Bayern Munich having won five Bundesliga titles, three DFB Pokal Cups, two German Supercups, and one each of Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup.
Neuer's Record in Numbers
Records justify the greatness of Neuer. He amassed 100 clean sheets in record 183 appearances for Bayern. He surpassed Oliver Reck who took 232 matches to achieve the milestone.
One can expect Neuer to keep a clean sheet once in every 2 games with a whopping 37 clean sheets in 74 games for the German national team.
In 2014, he also became the first goalkeeper after Oliver Kahn to feature as the top 3 players in the world.