Neuer: These triumphs will stand for all time
A historic season is coming to an end for FC Bayern. After winning the treble last year, the Munich team were victorious in the UEFA Super Cup, the DFL Supercup and the FIFA Club World Cup, making them the most successful FCB team of all time. This has been followed by the ninth German championship in a row - an unprecedented run of titles. In a major interview with captain Manuel Neuer, fcbayern.com asks about the last few months and the future. In the first part, the goalkeeper draws his conclusions from the season and talks about farewells with David Alaba, Jérôme Boateng, Javi Martínez and coach Hansi Flick. The second part follows on Tuesday.
Interview with Manuel Neuer: Part 1
fcbayern.com: Manu, you've become German champions for the ninth year in a row - can you believe how successful you've been in the Bundesliga?
Neuer: "It's amazing. Before I joined in 2011, I was sure I'd win many trophies at FC Bayern. However, at the time I didn't think we'd have this much success. We know we've set an all-time record. The aim before every season is to extend this further."
What are your overall conclusions from the season?
"Of course we always want to achieve the maximum. But we also know a lot can happen in competitive sport, every competitor wants success. This season, in addition to the championship, we won the German and European Supercups and the Club World Cup. I think we played good football overall. In the Champions League, we were unfortunate in the games against PSG. There's always a fine line."
Would you have gone further in the DFB Cup and the Champions League if you'd had more time to recover?
"Other teams struggled as well. At some point you have to accept one or two defeats. It was pretty gutting against Kiel in the cup with the goal in stoppage time and the penalty shoot-out. In the Champions League, against Paris, we were playing a great team. Obviously it's tough."
What was your personal highlight of the 2020/21 season?
"Looking across the past two seasons - becoming the most successful team in the history of FC Bayern. With all the successes, it's even better to have played side by side with many of the boys for such a long time and created this era. So of course, it's a shame a few are leaving the club this summer."
Speaking of goodbyes, David Alaba, Jérôme Boateng and Javi Martínez are leaving the club. Of the treble heroes from 2013, only you and Thomas Müller are left. How sad are you about this?
"Very sad, I have to say. In my career so far, I've only won one trophy without the boys, the Cup with Schalke in 2011. I even became European U21 champion in 2009 with Jérôme. I can only thank them. They know they've made friends for life here in the past few years. You always meet each other again in football and in your career after playing."
The partnership with coach Hansi Flick at FC Bayern will also finish at the end of the season. How do you look back at the time you spent with him?
"We've worked together since 2009 and we stayed in contact even when he finished with the national team and before he started at Bayern. We've had some very successful times. I'll look back on my work and my relationship with him with pleasure in the future. As a captain and as a person, I'm grateful to him for what he did for me personally, for FC Bayern and the national team."
From the time spent together at FC Bayern, last year's title wins are likely to stick out in the memory.
"These triumphs will stand for all time. We won't forget that and we'll already have to think about making a trip to Lisbon with the team in 2030 [10 years after the UCL triumph - ed.]. I'll put that in the diary now."
As captain, did you express your gratitude for the times of success?
"I gave a speech at the quarantine training camp in Grassau for the players who are leaving us and for Hansi Flick. I showed some videos of our time together. I just wanted to show how great the partnership was and how important each individual personality was for the team."
Hansi Flick is leaving FC Bayern in the summer. We looked back at nine special moments for the coach: