After a year-long absence due to injury, German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is set to make his long-awaited return to the Bayern Munich goal this Saturday at 3:30 PM, at home against Darmstadt, nearly a year after suffering a serious knee injury. The announcement was made by Bayern Munich’s head coach, Thomas Tuchel.
Neuer, 37, last made an official appearance on December 9, 2022, just eight days after his final match with the German national team at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which ended in a 4-2 victory against Costa Rica but failed to advance to the round of 16. Unfortunately, Neuer sustained a significant knee injury while skiing in the Bavarian Alps.
“If nothing unusual happens during training, ‘toi! toi! toi!’ (a German expression to wish good luck), he will play tomorrow,” said Thomas Tuchel during the usual pre-match press conference, tapping the wooden table in front of him.
The return of Manuel Neuer has been eagerly anticipated not only by Bayern Munich fans but also by football enthusiasts worldwide. Neuer’s injury and subsequent absence were a major setback for the team and a loss for the sport. The Munich coach couldn’t hide his excitement, stating, “He is excited, we are excited, and I’m sure others are too,” his face beaming with a wide smile.
Manuel Neuer’s last appearance for Bayern Munich was on November 12, 2022, in an away match against Schalke 04, which Bayern won 2-0. His injury was described as a “fracture in the lower part” of his right leg, with some German media outlets suggesting a double open fracture of the tibia and fibula. Neuer underwent surgery the day after his injury. Initially, he had hoped to resume training during Bayern’s summer preparations in mid-July, but his rehabilitation took longer than expected.
One Year Later, He’s Back
Tuchel described the situation as unique and highlighted Neuer’s exceptional qualities. He said, “It’s been a while since he played a match. I can feel his joy, but also his class. He has tremendous experience. It’s a new situation, but these situations are meant to be lived.”
During Neuer’s absence, Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer filled in from January to the end of May. Sommer had been recruited in the winter of 2022-2023 but was subsequently transferred to Inter Milan in the summer of 2023. Since the start of the current season, Sven Ulreich has been guarding Bayern’s goal.
Objective: Euro 2024
At 37 years old, Manuel Neuer is embarking on one of the final challenges of his illustrious career: to make a triumphant return to his best form in preparation for Euro 2024, which will be held in Germany from June 14 to July 14. In the national team, he faces competition from Marc-André ter Stegen, the undisputed starter at FC Barcelona, who has been in exceptional form in recent months with the Blaugrana.
Neuer’s return to action is not only a significant moment for Bayern Munich but also for German football as a whole. His presence between the posts brings stability and confidence to the team, and his leadership qualities are invaluable. Fans around the world will be eagerly watching his performance on Saturday, hoping to witness the return of one of the greatest goalkeepers of our time.