Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is in no rush to retire and will not do so until he feels that he is no longer needed.
Speaking to Welt am Sonntag (as captured by the Daily Mail), Neuer gave his rationale on when he will know it is time to hang up his boots for both Bayern Munich and Germany alike:
When you are no longer needed and you feel it, it is difficult to get up and motivate each day. When your experience is needed and your players need you, that drives you on. I have the feeling that I am very much needed here in the national team and that everyone is happy that I’m here. It’s clear that I have to show it in my performance.
The reason that Neuer has been able to stay motivated for so long strictly goes back to his love for the game:
[My longevity] is a result of my love for this sport. It excites me a lot when I’m on the pitch training or playing. It’s a great fulfillment for me. I’m 33 years old but when I’m on the pitch I always feel that I can improve on my goalkeeping. I’m still as annoyed with things that don’t work out as they did nine or 10 years ago and I’m still happy about things that work out.
At this stage, Neuer knows that his book may be in its final chapters, but it is still not over:
These are signs that mean something to me. Namely, how ambitious I am still. [I want to] play as long as my body can do it, I’m having fun and I’m needed.
Neuer’s status as an unquestioned starter for Bayern Munich is still firmly in place, but there has been some clamoring for Joachim Löw to give FC Barcelona’s Marc-André ter Stegen a chance between the sticks for Die Mannschaft.
As of now, however, Neuer is still the top-choice and his performances have warranted that billing.