Ulreich: ‘I've continued to develop’
You can certainly count on Sven Ulreich. Over recent months, the 29-year-old has developed into a key player in the FC Bayern goal. The stand-in for the injured Manuel Neuer has earned great praise from all sides. In his interview with the Bayern Magazine, Ulreich talks in depth about his new role in the limelight and his plans for the summer. fcbayern.com brings you excerpts from the interview.
**Sven, Bayern fans have voted you player of the month twice in succession. What does that mean to you?
Ulreich: "I'm happy about it as it means I'm doing my job right. Of course, I do appreciate the fans voting for me twice in succession."
**Uli Hoeneß has even called you player of the season.
Ulreich:**If a man like Uli Hoeneß says that then it's a great honour. But the whole team has had a great season. In one or two games I was able to help the team but the team has also helped me a lot."
**How did your team-mates react to what Uli Hoeneß said?
Ulreich:(laughs) "One or two were just waiting for that. For example, Thomas Müller started calling me player of the season all the time. But I know what Thomas means by that."
**Does the feedback from the fans and the words of Uli Hoeneß reflect greater recognition in general of what you've achieved over the last few months?
Ulreich:"I think it's quite normal for you to be valued more if you're playing every week, performing well and the team is being successful. I'm happy to help the team keep on track and help in us being successful."
**Have you had any feedback from Manuel Neuer?
Ulreich:"We see each other regularly and have a good relationship with each other. But we don't discuss each individual game. He congratulated me after the match at Stuttgart because he knows what it's like to play in your hometown when you don't always get a warm reception. He was happy with me that everything went so well. I hope he can get back on the pitch as soon as possible even though I'm obviously happy to be able to play at the moment."
**Saved penalties, great saves -- you've played an important part in the last few months. Do you feel you're at the top of your game now?
Ulreich:"All I can say is I've continued to develop over the past few years in Munich even though I was often on the bench. Training with Manu and Toni Tapalovic has done me good. You can't just copy Manuel Neuer as he's the best goalkeeper in the world. But the aspects Toni has worked with Manu on for years also influences my training. The fact you can be more dynamic in jumping or remain calm with the ball at your feet. That's the sort of thing. I've made progress in that respect. But you need to play regularly to put training into practice in matches."
**Even if you meet the highest demands set at FC Bayern, that doesn't immediately mean you're in with a chance of playing at the World Cup, does it?
Ulreich:"I've already booked my summer holidays (he laughs). To be serious: I'm happy people keep mentioning my name in that respect. But Manu will be back in the next few weeks and I'll go back to sitting on the bench. So I'm not worried about it at all."
**Does winning the German league title this season mean more to you compared with other campaigns?
Ulreich: "I never had the feeling in recent years that I wasn't entitled to the trophies. I worked hard every day for that with the squad. Especially in my position, it's important that the reserves, the second and third keepers, are up to the same level in training, keep the team spirit high and are also good team players. Tom Starke is a perfect example of that. But, of course, winning this title would be something special for me if I've played half the games and my performances have made a contribution to that success."