Manuel Neuer attacks FC Bayern and causes an earthquake around Säbener Strasse. How does it go from here?
Ironically, the captain ensured the return of “FC Hollywood”! With his frontal attack on FC Bayern Munich, Manuel Neuer triggered an earthquake around Säbener Strasse, the effects of which should still be felt in the coming weeks.
Neuer will certainly not be on the pitch if his colleagues are allowed to take the brunt of the renewed and home-made unrest. The question that now arises is anyway: Will Neuer ever play for Bayern again? And what short-term consequences does the captain have to reckon with?
Comment: Neuer lets Bayern down for the second time
SPOX and GOAL have collected answers.
Manuel Neuer and FC Bayern: What actually happened?
Completely unexpected and like a bomb, an interview by Bayern captain Manuel Neuer hit on Friday evening. In conversation with the Süddeutsche Zeitung as well as The Athletic the 36-year-old complained with emotional and harsh words about the separation from his long-time goalkeeping coach and friend Toni Tapalovic.
He had the feeling that “my heart was being ripped out,” said the multiple world goalkeeper with a view to the decision of the record champions, who had dismissed Tapalovic a good two weeks ago because of “differences about the way of working together”.
Neuer went even further, describing the goalkeeping coach’s departure as “the craziest thing I’ve seen in my career”. For him it was “a blow when I was already on the ground” and a “big disappointment”.
He also sharply criticized the general behavior of the club. “It has to do with the human aspect, dealing with a deserving employee: We want to be different as Bayern Munich – a family,” explained the 2014 world champion: “And then something happens that I haven’t experienced here before. It’s a shame for everyone.”
FC Bayern: Why is Manuel Neuer so committed to Toni Tapalovic?
Neuer and Tapalovic have much more in common than just a coach-player relationship. The two had already worked together at FC Schalke 04, and after Neuer moved to Bayern Munich in 2011, Tapalovic followed him a few weeks later. It is clear to the keeper that his career would not have been possible without Tapalovic.
“The goalkeeper I am today is also thanks to Toni Tapalovic. He helped me develop and I was also able to learn a lot from Toni’s active time,” said Neuer once in a portrait on the club’s website. Tapalovic said he didn’t know “whether there will be another relationship like this among the goalkeeper coaches in the Bundesliga. Just one look is often enough and we both understand what is meant”.
Neuer can no longer rely on this blind understanding if he has to face the competition with newcomer Yann Sommer and possibly Alexander Nübel in the future.
A deep friendship also developed between Neuer and Tapalovic off the pitch. “Tapa” was Neuer’s best man at his wedding to his then girlfriend Nina, and the keeper was also the godfather of Tapalovic’s son.
FC Bayern: What are the short-term consequences for Manuel Neuer after the interview?
Neuer is not the first prominent Bayern player in the recent past to be carried away by a sensational interview. In 2009, Philipp Lahm attacked the club – curiously also in the SZ – and felt compelled to criticize the transfer policy. This didn’t go over well with the bosses at all. At the time, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge announced a fine that “FC Bayern Munich has never seen before.”
Lahm “broke internal rules in a blatant and unforgivable way. It is an absolute taboo to criticize the club, the coach and teammates in public,” said Bayern. According to reports, Lahm had to pay 50,000 euros.
Neuer should now also be asked to pay a lot. Rummenigge’s successor, Oliver Kahn, at least chose a very similar tonality. “What Manuel said in parts of these two interviews in connection with Toni Tapalovic’s release does neither do justice to him as captain nor to the values of FC Bayern. In addition, his statements are untimely because we are facing very important games,” said Kahn the dpa.
However, he also showed understanding. “He’s personally affected, you have to understand that a bit,” said Kahn: “We were also aware of that when we explained to him that the decision that was not taken lightly on the question of the goalkeeper coach at that moment was the best for our team was.”
Sports director Hasan Salihamidzic also announced a thorough review. “I understand that Manuel is personally affected. But I would have expected a different behavior from him, especially as a captain,” he said picture on sunday.
What about Manuel Neuer’s sporting future at Bayern?
One thing is clear: With his interview, Neuer did himself no favors with regard to his sporting future in the club. The bosses and trainer Julian Nagelsmann have so far emphasized in unison that the captain is number one after returning from his serious injury and has thus strengthened his back. His statements now made could change this opinion, however.
Neuer himself admitted in the interview that Tapalovic’s dismissal had already made him doubt whether he would continue at Bayern: “I’ve thought about everything possible, including my future at the club.” Ultimately, however, those responsible assured him that they did not want to hurt him personally. “I said I disagreed with the reasons given and I felt I was heard,” he said.
But whether Neuer really comes back again is now more unclear than ever. An interim solution has already been signed for Yann Sommer, the contract with the Swiss runs until 2025. At 36 and with a broken leg in his luggage, it is still completely open whether Neuer can regain his old form. And even before his fateful skiing accident, Neuer was no longer at the highest level that had once made him great.
The interview may have been the decisive spark that prompted Kahn, sports director Hasan Salihamidzic and Co. to fill the position permanently – whether with Sommer or a completely new player. Especially since the majority of Bayern fans on social media reacted with rejection to Neuer’s words and the ultras in the stadium could take the “Koan Neuer” posters from his early days out of the closet again.
FC Bayern: Are there already candidates to succeed Manuel Neuer?
Before Yann Sommer’s commitment was finally bagged after tough negotiation poker with Borussia Mönchengladbach, many other names were still floating around. Sommer is already 34 years old and therefore no longer the man who could shape an era like Neuer or Kahn before him.
The long-term new successor should actually be Alexander Nübel, who came from Schalke in 2020 for exactly this purpose. But he never got past Neuer, and a year later he went on loan to AS Monaco. There, Nübel developed splendidly and, for his part, probably played a part in the fact that Tapalovic had to go.
Because in ZDF-‘Sportstudio’ he recently admitted that there was no real contact between him and Bayern’s goalkeeping coach. A few days later, Tapalovic was gone, which can also be understood as backing for Nübel. His loan to Monaco ends in the summer and Nübel’s prospects of a possible regular place in Bayern’s goal have probably never been so good.
In addition to Nübel, Gregor Kobel is also a conceivable candidate. The table football recently reported that Munich would deal with number one from Borussia Dortmund – but only for 2024, when Neuer’s contract expires. However, current events could make the topic hotter as early as summer, depending on whether there is still a future for Neuer in the Bayern goal.
FC Bayern: How did Manuel Neuer comment on his skiing accident?
The fact that Neuer is currently not available at all is due to a ski trip after the World Cup, during which he broke his leg and will be out at least until the end of the season. After the accident was announced, the goalkeeper was bombarded with accusations that he had irresponsibly let the club down. But Neuer didn’t want to hear about that.
“It’s not a holiday activity for me, it’s like going to the bakery,” he downplayed the activity: “There was something under the snow that stopped me. I drove maybe 10 or 12 km/h. I’m already on this slope Went down countless times, even alone. Usually it’s a piece of cake.”
He immediately apologized to those responsible and said he was sorry. “I’m not a coward who hides,” said Neuer. The diagnosis came as a great shock to him: “I had a lump in my throat and tears came to my eyes. I just mumbled: ‘Call the team doctor.’ It kills me when I hurt people around me. I can’t deal with that.”