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Manuel Neuer

Manuel Neuer

A graduate of the Schalke academy, Manuel Neuer caught the eye early on with a brilliant goalkeeping display away to FC Porto in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League, his many saves including two in a penalty shoot-out that took his team through to the quarter-finals.

He is known for his reflexes, excellent shot stopping abilities and distribution of the ball.

He was a stalwart in Germany’s U21 side and became a European champion at that level in 2009, starting all five matches in Sweden and conceding just one goal.

Neuer was capped for the first time at the senior level on the eve of those U21 finals – in a friendly against the United Arab Emirates. He went on to become Germany’s first choice goalkeeper at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa after the death of Robert Enke and an injury to René Adler.

During the group stages, he only conceded a single goal, a close range shot by Milan Jovanović in the match against Serbia. He provided the assist for Miroslav Klose’s opening goal against England, winning 4–1. He played in all of Germany’s World Cup matches apart from the third-place game against Uruguay, when Hans-Jörg Butt was rewarded with a spot in the starting lineup.

After joining Bayern in June 2011, Neuer made a stunning start to his time there by setting a club record of 1,147 minutes without conceding a goal between early August and mid-October.

He appeared in all but one of Bayern’s matches en route to the 2012 UEFA Champions League final – where he scored a penalty past Petr Čech in the shoot-out but ultimately ended up on the losing team against Chelsea FC – and was ever-present in the Bavarians’ triumphant 2013 European campaign. His stellar year in 2013 also won him the 2013 World Goalkeeper of the year.

Neuer once again heads into the 2014 World Cup in Brazil as Germany’s number 1. However, injury woes leading up to the World Cup has caused some worry to fans. Never one to back down in a difficult situation, it seems like he is set to return just in time for the World Cup.

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