Senin, 14 Juli 2014

"Super Sweeper Keeper" Neuer named World Cup's best

Manuel Neuer has been named best goalkeeper at the World Cup in Brazil. The 28-year-old beat off rivals Sergio Romero of Argentina and Costa Rica number one Keylor Navas for the prestigious individual award.
Germany predecessors Oliver Kahn and Jens Lehmann had previously hailed Neuer as the best goalkeeper at the global showdown in Brazil, and that opinion was confirmed after Sunday's final in Rio de Janeiro. World football's governing body FIFA awarded the Bayern Munich keeper the adidas Golden Glove, effectively proclaiming him the best goalkeeper in world football.
"Manuel Neuer can become the best German goalkeeper of all time," Lehmann declared in the build-up to the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina. The former Arsenal keeper even believes the Bayern man has yet to peak: "That's what's so fantastic about Manuel: his best years are still to come."
Oliver ‘Titan’ Kahn, the last German keeper to appear in a World Cup final, the 2–0 defeat to Brazil in 2002, agreed with his former rival: "Manuel is the best keeper in the world at the moment." Neuer had proved that six times in the matches running up to the final, ZDF co-commentator Kahn emphasised: "Everyone knows he's a wonderfully skilled player who can hold his own outfield. But the decisive factor is that he's there in the critical situations and salvages victory for his team."

Neuer composed despite pop star treatment
It was no surprise that the hype about Neuer snowballed from match to match at the tournament. The 28-year-old achieved superstar status in Brazil thanks to a string of superb blocks and reflex saves, and was hailed in the manner of a pop star, a reception similar to that received by Kahn in Asia 12 years ago.
Ear-splitting shrieks and a dizzying chorus of cheers greeted Neuer whenever he stepped off the team bus. However, the former Schalke youth refused to be thrown by the mass adoration and remained a model of calm composure.
At the end of the day even this cool customer was visibly proud of the worldwide recognition for his footballing excellence. "I'm obviously delighted by the positive response. But the only important thing is our success as a team," he stated.
Unshakeable belief
British national newspaper The Guardian heaped praise on the Germany number one: "Manuel Neuer is huge. He has immense presence – both physical and charismatic – which can be intimidating for any forward. He would be perfect material for a cartoonist creating some kind of footballing comic hero: the Super Sweeper Keeper. Neuer emits the attitude of a man overloaded on confidence. Not over-confidence, mind you, just pure bloody-minded self-belief."
Following the memorable 2–1 extra-time victory over Algeria in the Round of 16, DFB goalkeeping coach Andreas Köpke described Neuer as "the best libero since Franz Beckenbauer," but the Munich man has his feet firmly planted on the ground. “Modesty is a character trait instilled in me by my mother and father," he revealed, "I was never allowed to get big headed."
That aspect of his personality has become a hallmark of the Gelsenkirchen-born star, although his very presence in the box and astonishing reactions have caused a string of opposing forwards to lose their nerve at crucial moments during the tournament in Brazil. Neuer is rightly hailed as a superstar, but he has remained a normal and likeable character and always finds time to stay in touch with his fans.
Previous Golden Glove winners:
1994: Michel Preudhomme (Belgium)
1998: Fabien Barthez (France)
2002: Oliver Kahn (Germany)
2006: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)
2010: Iker Casillas (Spain)
2014: Manuel Neuer (Germany)

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