Why Manuel Neuer should be crowned world's best goalkeeper again


Manuel Neuer is on the three-man shortlist for the vote for The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper, who will be crowned on Monday in Zürich. If the current holder retains his trophy, Neuer will confirm his status as the GOATkeeper, the greatest of all time. The Bayern captain has been crowned IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper five times in his career - the joint most with Spaniard Iker Casillas and Italian Gianluigi Buffon - and has one Best FIFA award to his name, like Buffon. fcbayern.com lists the reasons why it’s time for Neuer to be crowned the outright world’s best:

Manu the libero setting the standard

As the ‘sweeper keeper’, for whom preventing opposition chances begins outside his own penalty area, the 35-year-old has taken the goalkeeping game to a new level during his career. Again in 2021, no one else was in the same league as the Germany No. 1 in this specialist discipline, with Neuer making 41 clearances outside his box over the last 12 months.

Neuer is a complete footballer who feels just as comfortable outside the penalty area - as seen here in a headed clearance.

Not only was that the highest figure among Europe’s top five leagues in competitive football in 2021, but Neuer also had a 100 percent success rate in doing so! The FCB skipper is not just the last line of defence, but also the first position in build-up play, as he proved in the Champions League. With his assist in the 5-2 win against Benfica in early November, he became the first keeper in over two and a half years to record an assist in the competition.

Special status in Germany underpinned

Neuer also underlined his status as the best German keeper of all time with numerous records. The shot-stopper kept 13 clean sheets in the Bundesliga last year and has now pulled away from previous record-holder Oliver Kahn (196) with 208 shutouts in Germany’s top flight. What’s more, he became the most successful goalkeeper in Bundesliga history with his ninth league title, and he’s also now the national team’s most-capped keeper with 108 international appearances.

Neuer’s saves have secured many titles for Bayern: The latest example being the 2021 Supercup.

The exceptional keeper has also ensured that Bayern have been able to continue their triumphal march in the league in recent months. Neuer emerged victorious in 29 of his 37 Bundesliga outings last year. With a total of 307 wins in 455 Bundesliga games, the 2014 World Cup winner is also set to topple Oliver Kahn in first place here (310 wins in 557 games). Neuer’s hunger for success is never quenched, as he radiates in every training session as well as every minute on the pitch. Now he can immortalise himself with success at Monday’s ceremony for The Best FIFA Football Awards.

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