For the second year in a row, the International Federation of Footballing History and Statistics (IFFHS) names Manuel Neuer as the world's best goalkeeper. He beat out Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois and Real Madrid's Keylor Navas by more than 100 points for the 2014 honor.
"It is a great honor for me to receive this award for a second time and of course I am happy." Neuer told FCB.tv. "I also have to thank my teammates for what happened last year from both teams – FC Bayern and the national team."
Neuer won the award for the first time a year ago after finishing second in 2011 and fourth in 2010 and 2012. His main competitor Iker Casillas, who had won the award from 2008-2012, was nowhere to be found. The 28-year-old can now add this to his World Cup Golden Glove award and his Germany Footballer of the Year award.
1. Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich/Germany) – 216 points
2. Thibaut Courtois (Atlético Madrid/Chelsea/Belgium) – 96 points
3. Keylor Navas (Levante/Real Madrid/Costa Rica) – 46 points
4. Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus/Italy) – 26 points
5. Claudio Bravo (Real Sociedad/Barcelona/Chile) – 16 points
6. Sergio Romero (AS Monaco/Sampdoria/Argentina) – 14 points
7. Guillermo Ochoa (AC Ajaccio/Málaga/Mexico) – 13 points
8. Petr Čech (Chelsea/Czech Republic)
9. Hugo Lloris (Tottenham/France) and Vincent Enyeama (Lille OSC/Nigeria) – 2 points
Speaking with DFB.de, Germany legend Lothar Matthäus gave Neuer very high praise, impressed with not only his performance but his patriotism.
"Neuer's goalkeeper play has given football a new impulse, a new shape to our game. He is not the goalie that stands out with spectacular saves in succession, but the balls rather get sucked in like a magnet. There are goalkeepers that need to dive for balls where Neuer is already standing. He is a magnet. Naturally he has an incredible reaction ability on and in front of the goal line. He can also read a game from his position, start and ward off like no other. That is his biggest strength."
Neuer is also one of the three finalists for the FIFA Ballon d'Or with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. He will find out if he is the first ever goalkeeper to win the award on Monday, January 12.