Manuel Neuer sat in an expansive armchair with red upholstery and gold-colored strips and feet. The seating furniture looked a little like a small throne and fit quite well into the overall picture: New is the king, he is the undisputed number one at Bayern Munich and at the same time the national team – and yet his throne is being shaken again. First Marc-Andre ter-Stegen tenderly announced his claims in the DFB team, now Alexander Nübel from Schalke 04 comes in summer to challenge Neuer after a transition year.
Two days after the official announcement by FC Bayern, Neuer gave the serene at the Munich training camp in Doha. But if you listened carefully, you could already hear one or two tips against Nübel, who the sporting managers of the record champions have now chosen as new successors. The commitment was a “decision of the club with regard to the next few years,” said Neuer, and: Nübel “is a top goalkeeper, who may also have a future someday”. Note: “maybe” and “sometime”.
Neuer could also have said: Nübel? So what! “For me,” he assured, “it doesn’t matter.” Really not? Nübel has the assurance that he will be used in selected games in the coming season, but Neuer will not give up these games without a fight. “I am not an extra, I am a protagonist,” emphasizes the 33-year-old, “I am a professional, I always want to play.” But in the end, he added, “it is of course not my decision.” The coach decides. And at the moment this trainer is called Hansi Flick.
Flick described Nübel’s commitment as “very far-sighted”, but he also emphasized that Neuer was “currently the world’s best goalkeeper” and the club would do well to keep him. Neuer, on the other hand, made it clear on Monday that he also wanted to make his future, i.e. the proposed contract extension beyond the summer of 2021, dependent on the future coach. “For me,” he assured, “it is important first of all how the path will continue, also with Hansi Flick. Of course, it is also crucial for me who will be a long-term trainer. “
Nübel’s obligation, however, is “insignificant” when he thinks about extending the contract, Neuer said. And yet it may have irritated him that the Bavarians are now bringing a challenger into the house after they had attacked the challenger ter Stegen a few weeks ago. But he doesn’t let it be noted. Regarding Nübel’s decision not to move to Munich as the clear number one as he himself did in summer 2011, he has a fairly clear opinion: “I probably wouldn’t have done it that way.”
At any rate, Nübel is not number one at Schalke 04, as a result of his suspension due to the kung fu attack against Mijat Gacinovic from Frankfurt. Only after the second game of the second half of the season, exactly, Bayern Munich, Nübel would be available again. Only after that, said coach David Wagner, would he “think” about who would be preferred. One thing is clear: Nübel will no longer be the Schalke captain. And if it goes to Neuer, Nübel will not be that fast in Munich either.
In the meantime, despite his move to FC Bayern, Nübel is backed by his internal rival. “I told him that I have my full support. That I believe that he made the right decision for himself or that he has to believe that it was the right decision for him, ”said Markus Schubert, previous number two of the district club, in an interview with TV broadcaster Sky.
Even if there is a change in the goalkeeper position at the Bundesliga club in the second half of the season and Schubert (21) should replace Nübel, who is two years older, as number one, he does not expect any trouble. “I don’t think I would be different to Alex or he would be to me,” said Schubert. Both goalkeepers would continue to support each other.