Bayern Munich back-up goalkeeper Sven Ulreich has one of the great jobs in sports. With starter Manuel Neuer almost maniacal about taking the pitch for each and every game, Ulreich’s field time has been very limited for much of his tenure in Bavaria. On the bright side, however, Ulreich is able to work at world class facilities and be surrounded by equally world class teammates on a daily basis.
For that experience, Ulreich is reportedly earning a handsome salary of €1.5 million per year. Still, Alexander Nübel will be arriving from Schalke 04 this summer and Ulreich’s place as Neuer’s understudy is in serious jeopardy. Because of that, the 31-year-old is now at a crossroads with his career. Should he stay and fight what appears an extremely slanted battled for the back-up role behind Neuer, or should he stiff-arm his comfortable life and take one last run at being a consistent starting goalkeeper for another club?
In an interview with Sport Bild, Ulreich admits he might be willing to leave the friendly confines of Säbener Straße after a five-year stint.
“I will look at everything that will happen in the next few weeks,” said Ulreich. “I said yes, if something opens up where I can play, I’d like to do it. Otherwise I will give my all here in my last year of contract.”
While acknowledging this was a possibility in January, Ulreich has previously maintained a staunch position that he was going to stay and fight for his role. No matter now well he performs, though, the club appears to be ready to cede the back-up role to Nübel.
Sport Bild also captured a quote from kicker by Hansi Flick, who indicated that, although Ulreich’s performance has been top-notch, the club also has aspirations of developing Nübel.
“We want to develop him (Nübel) further, but it is also clear that the performance concept counts at FC Bayern,” Flick said. “Currently, Sven Ulreich is doing really well.”
With Bayern II goalkeepers Christian Früchtl and Ron-Thorben Hoffmann also eager for playing time, there will surely be a bit of a shake-up in the goalkeeper ranks this summer. Früchtl is expected to go out on a loan assignment, with Hoffmann slated to take over the reins for the amateur side. What happens with Ulreich, however, is still to be determined.