Danke, Sven – we'll miss you!
After five years of professionalism and loyalty, Sven Ulreich is saying goodbye! The goalkeeper is leaving FC Bayern Munich and joining promotion-chasing Bundesliga 2 side Hamburger SV. "We'll miss him as a person and as a player, with the quality he has," said Hansi Flick. *fcbayern.com*reflects on five thoroughly successful years and says 'Danke':
"Be there when I'm needed"
"I'll always be there when I'm needed," declared the now 32-year-old when he moved to Munich from VfB Stuttgart in summer 2015. He has certainly lived up to those words. His role as back-up to first-choice keeper Manuel Neuer was made clear to him beforehand, but he still racked up 70 appearances in all competitions for FCB (45 in the Bundesliga, 13 in the Champions League, 11 in the DFB Cup and one Supercup match).
13 trophies in five years
Ulreich enjoyed a total of 13 titles in his five years with Bayern, including the Bundesliga crown in each season. As well as that, there were three DFB Cup successes, the recent Champions League title plus three DFL-Supercups and one UEFA Super Cup. With his showings on and off the pitch, the shot-stopper played a not insignificant part in the club's success.
Player of the Season 2017/18
Having perfectly slotted into the squad as Neuer's understudy, Ulreich got a lot more playing time in the 2017/18 season following the Germany goalkeeper's metatarsal injury. He started 29 Bundesliga matches, 11 in the Champions League – including the painful semi-final exit at the hands of Real Madrid – and six in the DFB Cup as well as the 7-6 win on penalties over Borussia Dortmund in the Supercup, where he saved the decisive penalty from Marc Bartra. His impressive performances saw him named the goalkeeper of 2018 by *kicker*magazine and voted Player of the Season by the Bayern fans.
Praise from treble-winning legend Heynckes
With 'Ulle's' contract set to run out in 2018, then coach Jupp Heynckes advised the Bayern bosses to "extend the contract as quickly as possible. He's improved hugely, the team trust in him, we sit there calmly when he plays," said the 2013 treble-winning coach. Ulreich's form did not go unnoticed by Germany, either. Having been on the radar of the national team for some time, he was finally called up for the first time by Joachim Löw in June 2019.
"A consummate professional"
"I've watched Sven in training for nearly a year and have said often enough that Sven is a consummate professional," summarised Hansi Flick at the press conference ahead of Sunday's match against Hertha BSC. "Sven has helped the team a lot because, on the one hand, he's shown 100 per cent professionalism in every training session as back-up goalkeeper – he knows he's back-up to Manu – and, on the other hand, he was very well-liked in the squad."