On the heels of Bayern Munich’s massive 4-2 win over Borussia Dortmund this past weekend, Manuel Neuer spoke on Bavarian radio show “Blickpunkt Sport” about just how much he misses having fans at the Allianz Arena (Az).
It’s exactly a year to the date (March 8th, 2020) since fans have been at the Allianz Arena before the coronavirus pandemic paused football indefinitely. Of course, there have been trials for some German clubs with bringing small portions of fans back into venues earlier on this season, but for Bayern, home matches have been Geisterspiele since last May.
After going 2-0 down inside of the opening 10 minutes by virtue of Erling Haaland brace against Dortmund over the weekend, fans would’ve been able to experience yet another ferocious fight back from Bayern lead by Robert Lewandowski, but it happened in front of an empty Allianz Arena. Neuer said that having fans present for that win “would have been a huge experience.”
There are rumors suggesting that portions of fans might be allowed back into venues by the end of May towards the end of the Bundesliga season, but either way, Neuer said that not having fans since last March has been a huge miss. “It gives us so much. We long to have spectators in the stadium again,” he said.
Neuer did, however, joke that empty stadiums has made it a bit easier for his teammates to hear his shouts during matches since there’s no crowd noise drowning out the tactical communications. “I can now scream all over the place and everyone hears and understands me,” he joked, but in terms in having the support of the fans, he continued, “we just miss that, you have to be very clear.”
Interestingly enough, kicker had put out an article that showed the winning percentage of home teams in the Bundesliga has actually dropped since Geisterspiele was introduced, suggesting that the lack of home support has been dearly felt.
To Neuer’s sentiment, home fans have clearly been missed by all clubs throughout the Bundesliga, and Europe as a whole.