The prospective heir to Bayern’s goalkeeping throne, Christian Früchtl conducted an interview with Bild recently and gave his thoughts on a number of topics, including his love for his hometown, his mentors at Bayern, and where he sees his future playing career.
Früchtl, just 18, recently became an ambassador for Arberland, the rural region near his Bavarian home Bischofsmais near the Bavarian Forest. As part of his duties, Früchtl aspires hopes to promote and open up a variety of prospects for young people — in careers, leisure, and family.
It’s simple: stand by my home. Those who live there are very fortunate and can just do their thing. That’s something you have to make clear to younger people. When I was asked if I’d like to help out, I didn’t have to think long about it. I enjoy being in Arberland, also because I don’t want to give up my friends.
On the field, Früchtl will assume the role of third goalkeeper starting next season, backing up Manuel Neuer and Sven Ulreich. He isn’t letting the promotion change his mindset or approach, though.
I haven’t achieved anything yet, I’ve only been given the chance to prove myself. That makes me very happy, but I also know: it will only get harder from here, because only the best advance from here. But to train with Manuel Neuer and Sven Ulreich is sensational.
Früchtl stressed how much his elders Neuer and Ulreich can teach him, and how generous they have been in sharing tips:
Manu is very grounded, always willing to help and cooperative. He always gives me good tips. The same goes for Sven... Manu is a big role model for me and has been since I was a kid still playing in Niederbayern. But I thought it was also unbelievable what a great season Sven played! Manu is the best goalkeeper in the world, who developed the goalkeeper’s position like no one before him, and who joins the game intelligently so that as few balls fly past his ears as possible. That’s intuition, but its also vast experience. I can still pick up a lot from him.
Goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic has also played an immense role in Früchtl’s development. Früchtl works closely with Tapalovic to develop his game:
He’s very important, my first person of contact at the club. He immediately sees possible weaknesses and mistakes and can structure practice in a way that allows me to always develop and improve.
While Früchtl has long been viewed as the heir to Manuel Neuer, he knows that he isn’t the first Bayern goalie expected to inherit the position from a legend (see: Rensing, Michael).
If I was scared I could pack up now. But of course I have respect. This isn’t just another club, it’s the club of the World Goalkeeper. But there is pressure at every position. That’s something you have to deal with even if things aren’t going smoothly.
As for his future, Früchtl wants to continue to develop at Bayern if possible:
I need to continue to improve, soak up as much as I can and of course gain match experience. The future will show where that will be, but of course I would like to make it at Bayern.