Evian - Manuel Neuer could set a German safe hands record in
Saturday's Euro 2016 quarter-final against Italy as the world champions' bid to
add the European crown.
Neuer kept a fifth straight cleansheet for Germany in
Sunday's 3-0 last 16 win over Slovakia, which leaves Germany as the only team
yet to concede in the tournament.
In the proud 108-year history of the German FA (DFB), no
other goalkeeper has managed five consecutive cleansheets for die Mannschaft.
The run includes the 2-0 warm-up win at home to Hungary and
four matches at the European Championships finals.
Neuer can break another German record against the Azzurri on
Only once, at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, has Germany
not conceded a goal in four games at a major tournament.
Sepp Maier hopes Germany's star shot-stopper takes his
record with another cleansheet in Bordeaux.
"I hope Manuel Neuer breaks my record. He is the best
goalkeeper of his generation," said the 72-year-old ex-Germany keeper.
Neuer will win his 70th cap in Bordeaux.
He is two matches from Jens Lehmann's record of 681 minutes
without conceding for Germany, set in 2007/08, but not for consecutive games.
Neuer has gone 450 minutes without being beaten since Eric Dier
scored the 92nd-minute winner in England's 3-2 friendly win in Berlin in March.
With Germany's captain Bastian Schweinsteiger being eased
into Euro 2016 after a knee injury, Neuer has worn the armband so far at Euro
He was again rock solid in Lille with a reflex leap to tip a
header from Slovakia midfielder Juraj Kucka from six yards out over the bar.
Neuer has been Germany's first-choice since a rib injury
ruled Rene Adler out of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Also read: More to come from ruthless Germans warn Neuer, Kroos
- 'incredible personality' -
Since then, his rivals have only enjoyed brief stints in
Germany's goal for friendlies.
"In recent years he has dominated the goalkeeper
position like no one before him," head coach Joachim Loew has said of
"He is an incredible personality, on and off the
At six foot, three inches (1.93cm), Neuer is an imposing
But he proved he can deal with quizshow questions just as
well as crosses in Novemer 2011.
He won half a million euros for charity on a celebrity
version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" on German TV.
He also voiced over a character in the German version of the
Disney cartoon film 'Monsters University' in 2013.
Neuer has been voted the world's best goalkeeper for the
last three years and won the Golden Glove award as the best goalkeeper at the
2014 World Cup.
His 'sweeper-keeper' style - leaving his goal to act as an
extra defender - helped Germany win the world title.
He finished third behind Lionel Messi and winner Cristiano
Ronaldo for the 2014 Ballon d'Or.
His aim is simple: to be the best goalkeeper there is.
"My ambition has always been to be as perfect as
possible, I have never made any secret of that," Neuer told GQ magazine.
"That's how I work everyday in training. I always try
to improve myself."
It's hard to believe, but some Bayern Munich fans did not
want him when he signed from Schalke in 2011 for 22 million euros ($24.25m).
The problem for Bavarian die-hards was that Neuer is
Gelsenkirchen born and bred and played for city team Schalke.
He used to have the initials GE -- the city's car
registration letters -- printed on his boots.
Bayern fans were upset when Neuer impersonated Bayern's
legendary goalkeeper Oliver Kahn. It did not help that Neuer sobbed his way
through his Schalke press conference in April 2011 to announce he was leaving.
'Koan Neuer (No Neuer)' placards appeared at Bayern games.
That was forgotten when Neuer went more than a thousand
minutes without conceding in his first season at Bayern to break Khan's record.
He has been in goal through Bayern's four Bundesliga title
wins over the last four years, the first time a Germany club has managed the
Outgoing coach Pep Guardiola described Neuer as 'the best
there is' and said he expects the 30-year-old to finish his career in Munich.For
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