Bayern Munich shot-stopper Manuel Neuer laughed at rumours in the media of him announcing his retirement on Wednesday.
The German goalkeeper was ruled out of play for two weeks after suffering a calf injury against Fortuna Dusseldorf on Sunday. Following the news, Neuer decided to hold a news conference in order to make everything clear for the media.
Last year, the German international was forced out of play for most of the season due to a fractured foot before going through another injury to his thumb later on.
As soon as the Bayern manager Niko Kovac confirmed the entity of Neuer’s injury, the media started to speculate over the goalkeeper’s future with rumours of him retiring taking over the media portals.
🗣️ #Neuer on upcoming games: "I'm looking forward. For me, it's important to be with the team despite my injury. We've got to give it our all until the very end of the season to finish ahead of Dortmund and reach the #DFBPokal final."#FCBayern #MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/Aso9cnOYFu
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) April 17, 2019
“We were laughing about that, to be honest,” said Neuer. “We agreed on this press conference a week ago and I just guaranteed that I’d be available because a lot of people wanted to hear me speak, so that’s why I didn’t cancel this.”
The target for Neuer is that of returning in time for the match against RB Leipzig on May 11.
“I think I’ll be able to work more after two weeks, but it’s difficult to tell you when I’ll return to the pitch. My goal is to return to fitness as soon as possible and to do everything I can to achieve that,” he said.
“I think Leipzig is a realistic goal for me, but we’ll have to take it step by step. I should be able to train fully after two weeks.
“Looking back, I was injured for more than a year after I fractured my foot and was on crutches for six months and honestly I expected to have muscle injuries much sooner, like in the first half of the season.
“I was injured for so long that it’s normal to have minor muscle issues. Fortunately, it’s only a minor one now, nothing that’ll keep me out for a couple months.
“You can’t predict these things. It’s not like I have any regrets or am frustrated with past decisions – nothing indicated an injury and these things just happen in top professional sports.”
Now, it will be Sven Ulreich who replaces Neuer and defends the goal for Bayern Munich who are still in a battle with Borussia Dortmund over the Bundesliga title. Neuer still believes Ulreich will be a good replacement.
“I don’t think we should talk about that his mistake against Madrid, but about how many good games he played. We know he showed very good performances in the past and I’m convinced he’ll do so in the next game,” he said.
“Bremen are a very strong team, they like to play football, they’re good at counter-attacking and have a strong offence.
“They won away against Dortmund, they’ve got good spirit and unit and that’s why we should be wary. It’s definitely not going to be easy.”