Injury shock for FC Bayern Munich: Manuel Neuer broke his lower leg while skiing and will be absent from the record champions until the end of the season. How does FCB react to the heavy blow? Does Sven Ulreich now have full confidence? And what role could Alexander Nübel play? We answer the most important questions about Neuer’s failure.
Manuel Neuer wrote on Instagram that he “wanted to clear his head while ski touring”. But the trip to the mountains ended up in the hospital for the FC Bayern captain. The diagnosis: lower leg fracture. This ended the season abruptly for Neuer.
What does the injury mean for Neuer himself? How does FC Bayern react to the loss of their number one? And will FCB still be active on the transfer market after all? SPOX answers the most important questions about Neuer’s failure.
Neuer sustained a fracture of his right lower leg in a fall while skiing on Friday. FC Bayern announced this in a statement on Saturday. Noisy picture Neuer is said to have suffered a marrow fracture in his right tibia. So it wasn’t an open fracture. The injury was treated surgically on Friday in the Murnau accident clinic.
What does Manuel Neuer say himself?
“What can I say, the end of the year could definitely have gone better,” Neuer wrote under his Instagram photo from the hospital bed: “While I wanted to clear my head while ski touring, I broke my lower leg. Yesterday’s surgery is very good Thank you to the medical team! It hurts to know that the current season is over for me.” And he added: “Take care of yourselves!”
What do the Bavarians say?
The news of Neuer’s injury “shocked everyone”, said Bayern’s CEO Oliver Kahn in the club’s announcement. At the same time, Bayern boss Neuer pledged all his support: “We will stand by him and accompany him on his way to his comeback. He will also overcome this serious injury and return to the pitch as strong as before.”
Sport director Hasan Salihamidzic was also concerned: “It’s terrible that Manuel had such an accident and of course all our thoughts are with him.” He spoke to Neuer on Friday and Saturday. “The surgery went as well as possible,” said Salihamidzic: “Manuel will receive every support. He’s a strong personality and will come back. I wish him all the best, he can rely on FC Bayern!”
National coach Hansi Flick also wished Neuer a speedy recovery. “It’s very bitter news at the end of the year. We’re glad the operation went well and wish Manu a speedy recovery. That’s the most important thing at the moment,” said the former Bayern coach.
Under Neuer’s Instagram post, teammates such as Thomas Müller and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, as well as former companions such as Jérôme Boateng, also sent recovery wishes. “Incredible, soo bitter, have a good rest,” wrote Müller.
What does the injury mean for Manuel Neuer himself?
It’s not the first serious injury in Neuer’s career. In the run-up to the World Cup, he had to struggle with a protracted shoulder joint bruise. Only two weeks before the start of the tournament, Neuer made his comeback in the Bayern goal. In the preliminary round in Qatar, however, the 36-year-old lacked the sovereignty of past heydays. The 2014 world champion got twelve shots in the three group games against Japan, Spain and Costa Rica – five were in, three he didn’t look good. “He made mistakes that no one knows about him,” was Lothar Matthäus’ verdict.
Neuer had ruled out resigning from the national team immediately after the World Cup. The fact that he has now been out of action for six months could lead to a changing of the guard in the DFB goal. His long-time deputy Marc-André ter Stegen regularly promotes himself with consistent performances at a high level at FC Barcelona. It remains to be seen whether Neuer will draw a line on his own. However, he is also known as a fighter. Even after his metatarsal fractures before the 2018 World Cup, which jeopardized the continuation of his career, the multiple world goalkeeper fought back.
At Bayern, Neuer only extended his contract until 2024 in the middle of this year. If he successfully fights back this time, the longstanding support of the record champions should be between the posts again in the new season. Nevertheless, Neuer’s failure could affect Bayern’s goalkeeper plans.
Who will replace Manuel Neuer at Bayern Munich?
Julian Nagelsmann’s team is now asking for Sven Ulreich. The former Stuttgart player has been a reliable backup for Neuer since 2015 – apart from a short HSV intermezzo. However, one thing is also clear: even on his best days, Ulreich cannot match the sporting level of a Manuel Neuer in top form. With the Champions League cracker against Paris Saint-Germain, Ulreich is also facing a real test that could also jeopardize Bayern’s goals for the season as a whole.
Nevertheless, Ulreich enjoys a good reputation, he is there when he is needed. And that was not often the case. The 34-year-old has represented Neuer in 86 competitive games, and he made seven appearances this season when Neuer suffered a shoulder injury. As a sign of trust, Bayern did not extend the contract with Ulreich until November until 2024.
So it would be surprising if Bayern temporarily put another number one in front of Ulreich for the rest of the season with an external new signing. However, it is conceivable that FC Bayern will become active on the transfer market after Neuer’s failure. Because the existing squad does not provide many alternatives. Number three is 19-year-old Johannes Schenk, who otherwise keeps goal in Bayern’s second team in the regional league.
Before the season, FC Bayern said goodbye to two goalkeepers in Christian Früchtl (Austria Vienna) and Ron-Thorben Hoffmann (Eintracht Braunschweig), who have failed to prove in recent years that they could seriously be considered as new heirs.
And what about Alexander Nübel?
Alexander Nübel is on loan from FC Bayern Munich to AS Monaco until the end of the season. How things will continue with Nübel, whose contract with FC Bayern runs until 2025, should actually only be decided at a later date. But after Neuer’s injury, the cards could now be reshuffled earlier.
Noisy sky those responsible at Bayern should think about an early return campaign for Nübel. The 26-year-old himself would therefore be open to a return. Sitting behind Neuer on the bench again from the summer would not be an option for the former U21 international goalkeeper.
In order to realize a return in winter, Bayern would have to come to a financial agreement with the Monegasque. “Before Alexander or I say anything about it, Bayern have to deal with Monaco first,” said Nübel’s advisor Stefan Backs sky. Due to good performances in the principality, the French first division club was also previously interested in Nübel’s permanent commitment.
As a potential new successor, Nübel moved from FC Schalke 04 to Bayern on a free transfer in 2020. But the former U21 international goalkeeper couldn’t get used to a role on the bench. After only four appearances, he moved to Monaco on a two-year loan in the summer of 2021.
Alexander Nübel: Performance data for the current season