The writing was on the wall months ago: when Bayern Munich surprisingly signed Alexander Nübel from Schalke 04 on a free transfer, the club also seemed to have tacitly signaled that it would move on from long-time second keeper Sven Ulreich.
Now, after repeated statements by the club that Nübel would under no circumstances be loaned out next season, Ulreich himself has acknowledge the new reality. In an interview with Sport1, he said, “Everything is imaginable. Especially in the current situation, you don’t know what will happen next. But it’s clear that I would not like to be the number three next season. I’ll try to find a new club.”
But Ulreich intends fight for his spot in Munich, if that is what it comes to: “If nothing suitable comes up, though, it’s possible that I’ll see out my contract in Munich [until 2021]. In that case, I will throw myself completely into the fight to stay the number two.”
Despite the situation, Ulreich is — as fans could only expect — and will remain a paragon of a team player. He described for Sport1 how he supports the team from the sidelines:
“That’s very situational for me. I always try to take part in the game, including when I sit on the bench. I want to fire up and push my team,” he said. That has proven especially important in recent games played in largely empty arenas: “Especially in ghost games, it’s important that input comes in from outside. It’s even helpful, because you can coach your teammates with decisive commands. You can hear us from outside now much better on account of the ghost-game backdrop.”
Ulreich is fully aware of the part he plays on the team and is glad for the plaudits he has received for his performances for Bayern: “I’m not the number one, I’m the two,” he said. “I have a clear job at FC Bayern and I try to do it to the best of my ability. Of course I receive praise for that. I’m glad that my conduct and my performances thus far are appreciated by the experts, but especially by Hansi Flick. I can’t rest on it, though, because I have to perform every day in training.”
“It’s not easy when you don’t play at all. I have to admit that,” Ulreich added. Wherever he lands next, he hopes to play regularly. He said, “In the future, I’d be happy to have more games. But you have to be realistic. At FC Bayern, that is probably not possible in the future.”
Finally, Ulreich said, “I hope I stay healthy and finish the season successfully with Bayern; we’ve fought the whole year for our goals after all. We want to be the first Corona-Meister of the Bundesliga!”