The last time we saw Sven Ulreich between the sticks was back in May against FC Kaiserslautern during the preseason. The 31-year-old has been warming the bench at Bayern Munich ever since, but he revealed that he does not feel ashamed to spend his time during games as a substitute.
In an interview given to Augsburger Allgemeine (via Kicker), Ulreich opened up about being sidelined for the most part of the season thus far. He admitted that he used to find it hard to accept being a second-string player years ago, but now things have changed for him as he has grown older:
I wouldn’t have been able to stand being on the bench. I was not the team player back then that I am today. The older you get, the more you learn to appreciate other things: your surroundings, your family. I was able to make my hobby my profession; that is also worth a lot.
Ulreich has not yet had the chance to wear the gloves even during Bayern’s early DFB-Pokal fixtures. But as far as he is concerned, Manuel Neuer is the best goalkeeper in the world and hence there is no shame in having to sit on the bench and watch him play. Ulreich admitted, though, that sometimes when he sees Manuel Neuer save a ball and hears the audience cheer, he misses the feeling of playing in front of such big crowds:
[Manuel Neuer] is clearly the best goalkeeper in the world. That’s why it’s not a disgrance to sit on the bench here. I’m honored to be able to be here; it’s a world-class club. If I’m the number 2 here, I don’t have to hide.
Apart from the error he made against Real Madrid in the 2017/18 Champions League knockouts, which made him the scapegoat, he had a wonderful season when Neuer had to stay away due to injuries. So whenever needed, we know we have the best choice waiting for his chance on the bench:
I knew when I signed with FC Bayern that that was the situation. It’s working out really well — also because I had a year in which I played a lot. But sure, you sometimes itch to play.
Ulreich wished Neuer all health and success and quipped that it would not be too bad if he caught a little cold once in a while.