There is so much turnover in professional football that it is becoming extremely rare for any player who joins a club at young age to climb up the ladder to the senior-team.
Though he has yet to make an appearance with the first-team, Lukas Schneller is one of those examples.
Schneller was thrust on to Hansi Flick’s roster as Alexander Nübel and Ron-Thorben Hoffmann suffered injuries and Christian Früchtl is out on loan with FC Nürnberg. Schneller went from the U-19s to Bayern Munich II to backing up Manuel Neuer rather quickly.
The experience has surely been nothing short of thrilling for the 19-year-old.
“It was an indescribable feeling,” said Schneller in an interview on the Bayern website (as captured by kicker). “Suddenly the people you usually see on TV are sitting next to you on the plane and on the bus.”
Schneller travelled to Qatar with Bayern Munich for the Club World Cup and loved to see how things worked behind-the-scenes with the first-team.
“I only replenished the squad and made no contribution to the title,” said Schneller, “Nevertheless, all the processes, structures and training units are very helpful for a young player like me.”
Despite not playing a second on the pitch, Schneller knows this has been an invaluable experience.
“The level is, of course, higher with the professionals, you train with the best every day,” says Schneller, who also travelled with Bayern Munich for it Champions League match against Atlético Madrid back in December before signing a contract extension later that week. “It’s a great feeling to be able to keep up at this level.”
As for working with Neuer, Schneller has soaked up every second.
“He has perfected the goalkeeping game. He is the most complete goalkeeper there is at the moment,” Schneller said. “The funny thing is that we have known each other for a long time because I was his ball boy from U-14 to U-17. Of course, it’s different now when we see each other in the dressing room and on the pitch every day. Manu told me straight away that I can always approach him if I need tips or have questions.”
Schneller also said Neuer is a “great guy” which seems par for the course on Bayern Munich’s roster as well.