Mon, 23/05/22, 12:00
Manuel Neuer’s best saves: Part 1
Manuel Neuer will be staying at FC Bayern until at least 2024, after the 36-year-old captain signed a new contract at the club. For anyone thinking he’s lost any of his ability down the years, you’re wrong. Neuer shows his skill in the Bayern goal week after week as he constantly denies opponents. fcbayern.com marks his contract extension with a look back at some of his most extraordinary saves. Here’s Part 1…
1. Ball sticks to him
The ball is his friend, as he proved again away at Borussia Dortmund in Der Klassiker on 4 April 2015. Marco Reus’s free-kick went over the ball, but Neuer scrambled across just in time to jam the ball into the ground with his underarm and deny what looked a certain goal. Bayern would win that day thanks to a goal from Robert Lewandowski in his debut season in Munich, which was crowned with the Bundesliga title.
2. “That’s why he is the number one in the world!”
Arsenal’s Theo Walcott was almost off cheering before he’d met a Nacho Monreal cross with his head inside the six-yard box on 20 October 2015, but he hadn ’t expected the left arm of Neuer to pop up and deny him. Although Pep Guardiola’s team lost 2-0 that evening, the save lives long in the memory. Or as Neuer’s former teammate Pepe Reina tweeted: “That’s why he is the number one in the world!”
3. Not hard enough to beat Manu
Try it harder was what Ingolstadt’s Mathew Leckie probably thought on 17 September 2016. The visiting forward first got past Xabi Alonso in the Bayern box at the Allianz Arena and tried to put his foot through it from 10 yards with Neuer to beat. But the five-time world’s best goalkeeper would turn the ball over the bar with a brilliant reactive hand.
4. He believes he can fly
A moment that will feature in every Neuer ‘best of’ DVD is his gravity-defying stop on 4 March 2017 away at Köln. Javi Martinez and Philipp Lahm weren’t able to stop Yuya Osako getting his head to the ball, with the shot looking destined for the top right corner. But not with Neuer in goal. The Bayern No.1 took flight and clawed it away, ensuring he kept a clean sheet and Bayern returned home with all three points from a 3-0 win after goals from Martinez, Juan Bernat and Franck Ribery.
5. Golden hand
There was an audible groan around the Olympiastadion in Berlin when Yussuf Poulsen came flying onto a corner and powered the ball towards goal with the DFB Cup final between Bayern and RB Leipzig still 0-0. But Neuer’s brain thinks quicker than most and he stuck out a right hand to turn the ball onto the bar with an incredible stop. It paved the way for another 3-0 win, this time to lift his fifth DFB Cup.
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Click here for Part 2: