Manuel Neuer honoured with Order of Merit


Manuel Neuer was visibly moved on his visit to the State Chancellery in Düsseldorf on Wednesday, as Minister President Armin Laschet presented the FC Bayern captain with the Order of Merit of North Rhine-Westphalia for his "exemplary social commitment".

"He's a hero out on the pitch, an idol for millions of people and a role model for youth. What he does extends far beyond the stadiums of the world," the politician said in praise of the Bayern keeper. "When I heard about the honour I was astonished," Neuer declared after receiving the pin. "It's a very special honour, and of course I’m glad to accept it."

I wanted to help in my home region.

Manuel Neuer

The 2014 world champion has been supporting numerous social projects in the Ruhr valley for years. In 2010 he founded the Manuel Neuer Kids Foundation, which supports socially disadvantaged children and young adults in the region. In addition, MANUS, the foundation's kids' centre which opened in 2014, supports children outside school hours, offering education and activities.

"I'd like to help underprivileged children in our society. I wanted to help in my home region and fulfil my social duty," said the 30-year-old, who stressed the special commitment of his foundation’s many employees and volunteers: "They're the true heroes."