'Club World Cup next big title'

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To set the mood for the new year, Manuel Neuer has written to the fans and members of the record champions in the foreword of the latest edition of the FCB members' magazine '51'. "On behalf of the team, I wish you all the best for 2021, with happiness and joy, not least regarding your FC Bayern - and, most importantly, good health," said The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper 2020. "We're looking ahead to 2021 with optimism. Our greatest wish for the new year, I think everyone is united on this, is that this pandemic will soon be overcome."

"We players pick up on your emotions, we experience them with you: You carry us over the line when it really matters."

Manuel Neuer

The players, the FCB captain relates, are tremendously affected by the fact that the usual closeness to the fans in the stadium is not possible at the moment because of the coronavirus. "Those of you who play sport know for sure that success in training and success in competition feels different," he explains. "The passion you ignite in the stands makes a big difference. We players pick up on your emotions, we experience them with you: You carry us over the line when it really matters."

Incomparable team spirit

He recently spoke at length with Joshua Kimmich, and they both agreed: "If you look closely now, you can see how we players have changed. We push each other more than we used to, because we have to release these forces more from within. After making a save I would rarely, or really never, cheer - today I make a fist as a sign for all of us, for me: Yes, we're here, we're strong!" Neuer is happy "that we currently have such a great team, which has formed a unit with the coaching staff, in which we can compensate for the empty stands as best we can, because unfortunately you're not there at the moment. We can be proud of this team - I personally have never experienced team spirit like it, and I've been in football for quite a while."

Making the best of the situation

Neuer also understands how the fans feel, how much they miss the stadium experience: "If I were a fan today, I would watch every game on TV - just like when I was a kid. Back then, we would certainly have created an alternative to the stadium to compensate at home; with my parents and my brother, every game would have become a mini event, a fixed date when everyone got together. Everyone would have taken the time to make the most of it."

Eyes on the next title

Manuel Neuer won the Club World Cup in Morocco in 2013. He aims to repeat that triumph in Qatar in February.

With regard to his sporting goals, Neuer says: "The next big title for our team is coming up soon in 2021. Winning the Club World Cup in 2013 was a great experience. Winning the Champions League again has now earned us the chance to make history with this title. We want to seize this opportunity. For the club, for ourselves - and last but not least for our fans!"

In the new issue of the club magazine '51', you can enjoy insights into the new FC Bayern World and conversations with the record champions' officials (in German only).