The Week so Far: 100 up for Manuel Neuer
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Manuel For Success
Against Latvia on Monday evening, Manuel Neuer became the first ever goalkeeper to reach 100 caps for the men’s German national team, 12 years after being handed his debut by soon-to-be departing boss Joachim Löw. Overall, Neuer thus became the 13th player to reach the milestone for Die Mannschaft and the 35-year-old now has the opportunity to climb into the top 10 of that list at Euro 2020.
Neuer was gifted an almost perfect night by his teammates with Germany running out 7-1 winners, though he will be disappointed that he conceded from the only shot on target he faced in the game, the second time that has happened in as many games, after it happened against Denmark. His Bayern clubmates did their best to keep the mood high, however, with four of the six that played in the game either scoring or assisting.
Neuer has played in 27 of Germany’s 28 games at major tournaments since debuting in a friendly versus the UAE in June 2009 and will be looking to replicate the form he displayed at the 2014 World Cup in this summer’s tournament. Neuer won the World Cup Golden Glove in Brazil with four clean sheets, only seven keepers have beaten that total since 1966 (all with five) while the seven saves Neuer recorded in the semi-final victory over Brazil that year has only been bettered by four ‘keepers in a World Cup semi-final in the same period. Those saves were understandably overshadowed by his side’s seven goals that night but nonetheless, Neuer produced performances well worthy of winning a World Cup in 2014.
Neuer had a stellar qualifying campaign in 2019, keeping five clean sheets in seven appearances and conceding only to the Netherlands, in a 3-2 win and a 4-2 defeat. According to our expected goals on target model (xGOT), given the quality of shots the German faced across those games, he prevented well over three goals (3.5). Amongst the qualified nations, only Andriy Pyatov of Ukraine (5.8) and Stole Dimitrievski of North Macedonia (3.8) prevented more.
Euro 2020 Qualifiers – Most Goals Prevented (Qualified Nations):
|Player||Team||Non-Penalty xGOT Conceded||Goals Conceded||Goals Prevented||Prevented Rate|
|Stole Dimitrievski||North Macedonia||13.8||10||3.8||1.4|
|David de Gea||Spain||3.4||1||2.4||3.4|
Captain of his country since 2017, Neuer will likely continue to move up the all-time appearance list given Hansi Flick is set to take over from Löw after Euro 2020 (15 years). Neuer made more starts than any other Bayern player during Flick’s tenure at Bayern, starting 81 of 86 games in all competitions. Football managers spend their careers looking for reliable goalkeepers and Flick will come into the job knowing everything Neuer can offer the side, even in the autumn of his career.
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