As if there hasn’t been enough drama surrounding the German National team within the past 12 months, the current rift between goalkeepers Marc-André ter Stegen and Manuel Neuer rages on unabated. Uli Hoeness bluntly criticized Ter Stegen’s comments earlier today at Bayern Munich’s opening conference for the new basketball season at the Allianz Arena (via Bild).
Hoeness had already criticized ter Stegen following Bayern’s 3-0 win over Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday evening, but he didn’t hold back at all when he was pressed again on the subject:
What I said on Wednesday evening was totally justified. I had agreed with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge that we finally had to support our goalkeeper again, because he had been pushed in a situation in which he absolutely does not belong. Soccer is a sport with community. When he [Marc-André ter Stegen] has a problem, he should speak to those in charge and not with the media. We have seen yet another very instructive example of what can come of that. We wanted to put a stop to it. I think that the people in question are clever enough now to talk things over in the coming weeks and months with those who are concerned - and not with the media.
Hoeness objected to Ter Stegen’s decision to speak to the media. Hoeness further has his own opinion about what the national team’s coaching staff should have done after Ter Stegen’s remarks:
As for the players, I wish that they would go to the coach if they have a problem - and to their sporting director or manager. I would have expected the people responsible to make Mr. Ter Stegen go stand in the corner! And tell him that that doesn’t fly.
Additionally, Hoeness claimed that Ter Stegen has unnecessarily put Neuer in a difficult situation, creating the perception that Neuer should be retiring from the national team soon, which should not be the case:
[Ter Stegen] here is damaging a completely blameless sportsman like Manuel Neuer, who has never done anyone any harm. He’s now being depicted as scrap, who very kindly should now retire after the Euro championship. There will be some who are surprised when he’s still playing in five years. And Mr. Ter Stegen already has a gray beard...
Although Jogi Löw chimed in about the recent discussion, Hoeness felt the DFB had failed to address the rift between the two goalkeepers. Asked whether there had been any response from the DFB, Hoeness remarked,
No. And I don’t expect one. Their forte is going into the woods and whistling. If [the DFB] had made things clear, we would not have had a discussion for days. Apparently they have not said it emphatically enough. Otherwise, the media would have stopped speculating. They have not said a final word! If you live in today’s media world, you have to watch what you say. We had to apologize a hundred times for our press conference. I still haven’t read an apology from Mr. Ter Stegen.