Manuel Neuer: It'll be a challenge
A historic season is coming to an end for FC Bayern. After winning the treble last year, the Munich side 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 was followed by the ninth domestic championship in a row - an unprecedented run of titles. In a major interview with captain Manuel Neuer, fcbayern.com speaks about the last few months and the future. In part two, the goalkeeper looks ahead to UEFA EURO 2020 and next season.
Interview with Manuel Neuer: Part 2
fcbayern.com: At the end of the season, you join the national team to prepare for the European Championship. How much are you looking forward to the tournament?
Neuer: "There's huge anticipation. We've all been waiting longer than usual for the Euros. We hope we can be fit going into the tournament and all the players are on form."
How do you rate your chances?
"We're definitely not the top favourites. We were in this situation in 2010 when I played my first major tournament with the national team. Nobody really expected much from Germany. But we beat England and Argentina and were only narrowly defeated in the semi-finals by Spain. I think we can surprise a few people this year as well and achieve something with our team. We're very ambitious, motivated and want to achieve the maximum."
There are eight Bayern players in the German squad. How important is a strong FCB axis in the national team?
"Especially when the national team has been successful, there's always been a number of FC Bayern players in the squad. We have that now too. It's important to be familiar with the processes on the pitch, so it's always a good thing when you're already well-drilled. We'll meet some club-mates in the opening game against France at the Allianz Arena. That'll be like a home game for all of us."
Your three group stage matches will all take place in Munich. How much of a role does home advantage play?
"We have our base in Herzogenaurach and won't have to travel long distances to the games. We can prepare well, we know the conditions. So it is a small psychological advantage."
From next season, Julian Nagelsmann will be the coach at FC Bayern. What do you expect from working with him?
"I expect some lively discussions. We're all aware of his football expertise. I'm looking forward to working together, to new challenges and new tasks, even at my age."
It'll probably be the first time in your career that you're older than your coach...
"I certainly wouldn't have expected it a few years ago. But it'll be a normal situation. He's already gained a lot of experience at Hoffenheim and Leipzig."
FC Bayern are facing some radical changes in the back line. Do you think the team is prepared?
"Every departure is an opportunity for a new era. At FC Bayern we always have the skills to put out a top defensive line-up. It'll be a challenge. The competition for places will be very interesting."
Which teams do you think will be your fiercest rivals next season?
"I think Dortmund's final push showed that they'll always be serious competitors. Leipzig will definitely have a strong team again. We can expect those two teams to be up there next season."
With the new season in mind, we're all hoping to see more spectators back in the stadiums. What will it be like to play in front of a full house at the Allianz Arena again?
"It's sure to be emotional for all of us. We've been waiting for over a year. The successes we had last year in particular unfortunately took place without spectators. It's a shame for us all. That's why we want to win big titles again in front of spectators in the future, so that we can then celebrate them with our fans."
In the first part of our major interview, Neuer spoke about the last few months and the players who are leaving Bayern: