News : 100 international matches for Manuel Neuer: adventurer with helper syndrome – sport
Robin Gosens hasn’t been with the national team for too long, otherwise he would certainly have failed to praise this shot in the sky, of all things. There was no shortage of nice goals on this entertaining evening: Gosens ‘own hammer to 1-0, Ilkay Gündogan’s furious 2-0, Serge Gnabry’s 5-0 after Mats Hummels’ long-distance pass with the outside instep – in a 7-1 victory against Latvia the German hits sparkled like diamonds. But Gosens raved about the “great goal conceded” instead and stated appreciatively: “He did well, the man.” Objectively, you could see it that way, but of course he wasn’t allowed to say it in public. Heresy.
What Manuel Neuer thought of the great goal conceded was immediately reflected in his facial expression after Alexejs Saveljevs’ powerful left-footed shot hit the target. Disappointment was evident. The whole evening Neuer had stood idle on the sidelines of the game, no ball came into his penalty area until this thing suddenly flew in. The national coach classified it as “actually untenable” without being asked, which may represent an attempt to stand by his captain’s side.
You don’t have to overdo it, but it remains an unchangeable fact that Manuel Neuer deeply rejects conceded goals, regardless of whether they are beautiful or unsightly. The evening had started wonderfully for him when, in honor of his 100th international match, he jumped through the trellis of the teammates onto the field, welcomed most kindly by the small audience in the brightly speckled opposite stand, but it was enough for a well-rounded event at the festival – 7 : 1 or not – still not. “It’s difficult for me,” he said later, “the 7-1 win against Brazil was a little nicer.” At that time he had been able to do his part, this time his teammates had let him down. Neuer complained: “It was a dream goal, but we have to deliver better – then he can’t shoot at all.”
A “goalkeeper war” like that between Kahn and Lehmann: unthinkable with Neuer
Sounds a bit dogged, it probably is, but the world-famous world goalkeeper Neuer is not one of those lonely men who play football as an individual sport. Neuer is a declared and recognized team player who on top of that has diagnosed himself as having a “helper syndrome”. This has never been medically researched, but there is enough evidence from sporting life. Neuer is also driven by a thirst for adventure when he steps into the field to avert danger. However, the focus is on expediency for the benefit of the team.
Fifteen years ago, the competition between Oliver Kahn and Jens Lehmann, officially declared a “goalkeeper war”, was raging in the national team. Such a confrontation with Neuer would be unthinkable, and not only because his deputies recognize that he is the best. The harmony between the three German goalkeepers would probably have driven Kahn crazy. Neuer has “not only great on the pitch, but also next to it,” says Kevin Trapp, while Bernd Leno states: “The days of beating heads are over – nobody is the type for it.” To Leno, the 35-year-old colleague from Munich looks like someone in his mid-twenties, flexible and agile, every day of training with him is “impressive”.
There will be a few more. Manuel Neuer is not thinking of resigning. This was certainly not his last anniversary game.