Unbeatable Neuer’s ‘glorious day’ in Porto
Everything was thrown at Manuel Neuer. Shots. Headers. Volleys in the six-yard box. One-on-ones. But the current FCB shot-stopper was unbeatable on the night of 5 March 2008. He kept getting a hand or a foot to the ball and he saved twice in the penalty shoot-out. Neuer ensured Schalke 04 progressed to the Champions League quarter-finals. That was at FC Porto where the 29-year-old keeper returns with FC Bayern on Wednesday night.
"I've done really well against Porto so far," said the World Cup winner, looking back to his finest hour seven years ago. "I was still a very young keeper at the time. That was my first season in the Champions-League. Fortunately, I had a glorious day where everything went right," explained Neuer, "unfortunately we were then knocked out by Pep Guardiola's Barcelona side."
Looking forward to the Dragão
Neuer and Guardiola are on the same side in this year's quarter-final reunion with FC Porto. The World Goalkeeper of the Year is one the key players in the FCB head coach's team and, if required, he will keep out the Porto strikers again on Wednesday. "We need him in top form," declared Matthias Sammer.
The man who thwarted Porto back then demonstrated his outstanding ability again in the DFB Cup game at Bayer Leverkusen when he saved another spot-kick. It feels good for everyone at FC Bayern to know "we've got someone in nets who stands out in open play and with penalties," said Sammer.
Neuer said he will avoid watching his exploits of 2008 ahead of the Champions League clash with Porto, but he is looking forward to returning to the Estádio do Dragão. "We'll certainly get a very warm welcome," said the Germany goalkeeper, who rates his first match in Porto as one of the top performances in his career to date. "He saved Schalke 04 almost single-handed out there," said Karl-Heinz Rummenigge before adding: "That was one of the reasons we bought him."