Created on 20-05-2015 at 14:37 PM
Even in advance of the Bundesliga shield presentation on Saturday, Manuel Neuer received a flavor of that award-winning feeling after training on Wednesday when he was presented with the accolades for European Sports Personality of the Year 2014 and World Sports Personality of the Year 2014. The trophies were awarded by the European (UEPS) and international (AIPS) sports journalists’ associations.
“The two associations don’t often choose the same athlete,” said Hans-Joachim Zwingmann of the Association of German Sports Journalists, who presented Neuer with the trophy as general secretary of the AIPS football committee. “Manuel more than deserves this accolade. Sports journalists all over the world have made the right choice.”
UEPS president Yannis Daras, who also came to Munich for the ceremonials, said the choice of the Bayern keeper was “no surprise” after his displays at last summer’s World Cup. “Manuel’s performances in Brazil left a lasting impression. The vote is the result of his superb displays, fairness, influence on the field and professional dealings with the media.”
Ahead of Federer, twice
Neuer thanked his FC Bayern and Germany team-mates: “I’d never have done it without the lads.” The 29-year-old is only the third footballer to claim the European award since its inception by UEPS in 1983. The only previous footballing winners were Michel Platini (1984) and Lothar Matthäus (1990).
In the 2014 vote in Europe, Neuer beat off tennis stars Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. In the world vote, he topped the pile ahead of Federer and Cristiano Ronaldo.