Manuel Peter Neuer (born 27 March 1986) is a German professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Bayern Munich and the Germany national team. He has been described as a “sweeper-keeper” because of his unique playing style and speed when rushing off his line; he is also known for his quick reflexes, excellent shot-stopping abilities, command of his area and accurate control and distribution of the ball.
Neuer signed professional terms in 2005 after progressing through every age group at his hometown club. He made his Bundesliga debut with Schalke when he came on to substitute the injured Frank Rost on match day two of the 2006–07 season. The 20-year-old eventually won the starting position when Rost was surprisingly dropped for the crunch clash against Bayern Munich. He did not disappoint and managed to secure a 2–2 draw against the defending champions. Despite his young age, he was widely tipped to be a potential successor to his former idol Jens Lehmann in the future for the German national team.
For the 2010–11 season, Neuer was appointed captain and led the team to its first Champions League semi-final appearance. He also won the DFB Pokal in his final season with the club, as Schalke defeated MSV Duisburg 5:0. On 20 April 2011, he announced that he would not be extending his contract with Schalke, which was set to expire at the end of the 2011–12 season. He earned criticism by Schalke-fans, who were disappointed with him leaving for a rival club.
On 1 June 2011, Schalke and Bayern Munich confirmed that Neuer would move to Bayern Munich in July 2011. Neuer signed a five-year contract that will last until June 2016. The move was worth €22million, making Neuer the second most expensive goalkeeper of all time, only behind Gianluigi Buffon. After hostilities of Bayern fans against Neuer (some fans were unhappy about Bayern buying a Schalke keeper), a round-table discussion between Bayern Munich and group of supporters’ representatives took place on 2 July 2011. Among other things, it was decided that Manuel Neuer will be “regarded as a full member of the FC Bayern Munich team, who should be treated with due respect.
The current holder of the IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper award (for three years in a row) and regarded as one of the best and most complete goalkeepers of all-time, Neuer won the 2014 FIFA World Cup with Germany as well as the Golden Glove award for being the best goalkeeper in the tournament, and is considered by some in the sport to be the best goalkeeper in football since Lev Yashin.
In 2014, Neuer finished third in the voting, behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, for the FIFA Ballon d’Or award. The same year, he was ranked the third-best player in the world by The Guardian.