Coming close in the third position for the 2014 Ballon d’Or award and regarded highly among his peers and soccer fans, Manuel Neuer is setting new rules in the school of goalkeeping. He currently plays for German Bundesliga club FC Bayern Munich and the Germany national team. His attributes and what he brings to the game cannot be explained in few words which is why he is rated the best goalkeeper of his generation.
Manuel Neuer Biography, Age
Manuel Peter Neuer was born in Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia on March 27, 1986. His parents are Peter and Marita Neuer. He has a sibling, a brother whose name is given as Marcel Neuer. Not much is known about his early life or family background as you may like to note but his brother is said to be a soccer referee in the sixth-tier of Germany’s Football Association League also referred to as the Verbandsliga. Manuel Neuer attended Gesamtschule Berger Feld, which is the same school many known German footballers today attended. Manuel Neuer holds the German nationality and he belongs to the white ethnicity.
He is often referred to by many as the best goalkeeper in the world today, especially in his generation. That is how high Manuel Neuer’s stock has risen in the business of soccer. He is sure on his way to emulate the steps of the former Soviet professional goalkeeper, Lev Yashin also called the “Black Panther” and the only goalie to ever receive a Ballon d’Or. He came so close to achieving the feat in 2014 when he finished third behind only the two best players in the world at that time – Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – in the run-in for the FIFA Ballon d’Or award that year.
Neuer has a unique style of player which can only be attributed to him at the moment. His reflexes, speed, mentality and unbelievable stops are second to none. He is called the “sweeper-keeper”. This is because of his impressive footwork and where other goalkeepers and not confident with the ball on their feet, he anticipates an attack from the opponents and tries to foil it from high up the defense. He has a knack for running off his lines to sweep the ball off the attacking player in the case he (the attacking player) beats the teams’ defensive line (offside trap).
His tall and athletic build is a key factor in his style of play not forgetting to mention his stamina and composure, as well as his concentration to pick out the opponent’s attacking play before it fully materializes. His style of plays ‘gifts’ an extra man to the team who can now afford to set up the defensive line further up the pitch. His style is bringing about a revolution and is beginning to tear up the existing manuals on what the job of a goalkeeper should be in a match. His excellent footwork and composure with the ball at his feet can be attributed to the fact that Manuel Neuer was an outfield player at the beginning of his soccer career.
Again, his ability in one-on-one situations with opposing players is excellent. When faced with an attacker alone, his record of ‘winning the contest’ is a high one. He is good at spot-kicks too – in saving and as well as in scoring them.
Manuel Neuer got his first soccer ball when he was just two years old and started playing the game when he was just five. His soccer career progressed with him as an outfield player but he decided to become a goalkeeper because his soccer idol was former Germany and Arsenal FC goalie, Jens Lehmann, who was with FC Schalke 04 and the time. Neuer stated by playing for the club’s (FC Schalke 04) youth teams between 1991-2005.
He was then moved up to the B team for the 2003–04 season and after 29 appearances in two seasons, he was promoted to the first team where he played for five seasons before he was snapped up by Bundesliga giants, FC Bayern Munich in June 2011 for the 2011-12 German Bundesliga season.
His career at FC Bayern Munich has been a success as he has helped his team collect several trophies, including the Bundesliga and DFB Pokal cup and also the 2012-2013 UEFA Champions League at London’s Wembley Stadium against fellow Bundesliga rivals, Borussia Dortmund. Neuer was also part of Bayern team that won six straight Bundesliga championships between 2012-2013 to 2017-2018 – an unprecedented feat in Bundesliga history.
He also has a good history with the German national team since he made his national team debut on June 2, 2009, against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) under national team manager, Joachim Löw. He has gone on to win the FIFA World Cup with Germany in 2014 against a Lionel Messi-led Argentina. He was named the captain of the German national team in 2016 when his teammate, Bastian Schweinsteiger retired from the team.
Is He Gay?
No, Manuel Neuer is not gay or bisexual (or at least, he has not come out). The speculation is fuelled by the fact that he is supportive of the LGBT community and also from the fact that he is open to seeing gay footballers come out of their closet. In an interview with a German celebrity magazine, he had said footballers who are gay should come out and that the fan will have to accept it in the long run, citing that it will loosen the burdens on their shoulders. It is on record today that second division footballer Marcus Urban is the only German gay footballer to come out of the closet and he did so in 2007 after he had retired and not while active.
Manuel Neuer’s Girlfriend, Wife
Manuel Neuer is married to Nina Weiss but before he met Weiss, Neuer was dating Kathrin Gilch in what seemed like a long-term relationship. They had met in 2009 in Greece and split up in 2014, after five years together. He then started dating Nina Weiss and in May 2017, they were married with Neuer appearing on crutches in the wedding which took place in the Cathedral of Santissima della Madia in Monopoli, Italy.
Other Facts + Height & Weight
Manuel Neuer has a charity foundation that he runs for kids – The Manuel Neuer Kids Foundation.
Still, about charity, he participated in the celebrity edition of Wer wird Millionär? (German version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?) in November 2011 and won €500,000 which was given to charity.
He lent his voice for the character Frank McCay in the German version of the Monsters University (2013) a Disney animation.
Manuel Neuer earns an annual salary of $8 million and has an estimated net worth of $41 million.
Neuer is a very tall man with an imposing body build. His height is 6 ft 4 in (193 cm) and his weight is 92 kg (203 lbs). His body measurements are 44-14-33 inches. His hair color is blonde while his eye color is blue.