Ulreich: I've grown in many respects
Like father, like son. It is hardly surprising that Sven Ulreich is a goalkeeper. "My dad was a keeper himself," Ulreich told FC Bayern.tv live: "He played only in the lower tiers, but it was always nice when he packed his bag. It was always special to me when he packed his gloves."
The 29-year-old has always wanted to feature between the posts, joining a club at the tender age of three - as an outfield player: "The coach's son was the keeper, so I couldn't play there," Ulreich revealed. He joined another club after two years.
Proud to join FCB
He finally was a goalkeeper. Ulreich made his pro debut at 19, wearing the VFB Stuttgart kit, soon stepping up to the number one role. He joined FC Bayern in 2015. Not many people understood his decision as he was a household name at Stuttgart, whereas Manuel Neuer would be in front of him at Bayern. "It was the right step for me at that time. I wanted a new challenge, and then Bayern made an offer," explained Ulreich: "Bayern would never sign a poor keeper as a backup for Manu. So it was a great honour to sign the contract."
He has clocked up numerous minutes out on the pitch so far this season, shining as Neuer's deputy even if he had problems at the beginning. "No matter how often you exercise, it doesn't replace match practice. It just takes time to find your rhythm." But Ulreich soon found his rhythm, saving a penalty to keep Bayern in the race for the cup title.
Ulreich has grown "in many respects" over the last two and a half years, by no means regretting the transfer. Neuer has played a major part in his development, revealed the two-time German champion: "You learn quite a lot when you watch a world-class keeper like him every day. But you can't copy everything because a lot of Manu's qualities are just gifts of God."