The best takeaway from Saturday evening’s friendly with Austria was the return of Manuel Neuer. After almost nine months out injured, the world champion made an impressive return between the sticks, despite the 2-1 defeat. After today’s squad announcement, it’s confirmed that Neuer will travel to Russia as Germany’s no.1.
“I have always been very positive and stayed focused on my goal – I knew that I could and would make it,” said the 32-year-old. “If I hadn’t stayed positive, I wouldn’t be sitting here right now. I’m feeling good and have got a lot of positive feedback from my teammates; they said they it’s just the same Manuel Neuer in goal. I’m convinced that I will be able to deal with the strain of the tournament. I want to play as many games as possible.”
Neuer was also named Man of the Match for his performance against Austria. He received 59.4% of the votes, finishing comfortably ahead of goalscorer Mesut Özil (10.2%).