Bayern Munich captain Manuel Neuer capped off a successful club season in helping the Bavarians lock down a 9th consecutive Meisterschale, but the goalkeeper’s focus immediately shifted to the German national team once the Bundesliga season ended.
Neuer, like many of his Bayern Munich teammates, will represent Germany in the European Championships and the boys are looking forward to the competition.
“There’s huge anticipation. We’ve all been waiting longer than usual for the Euros,” said Neuer in an interview with the club website. “We hope we can be fit going into the tournament and all the players are on form.”
Neuer knows Germany will have its work cut out for it against some top national teams like France and Portugal.
“We’re definitely not the top favorites. We were in this situation in 2010 when I played my first major tournament with the national team,” Neuer said. “Nobody really expected much from Germany. But we beat England and Argentina and were only narrowly defeated in the semifinals by Spain. I think we can surprise a few people this year as well and achieve something with our team. We’re very ambitious, motivated and want to achieve the maximum.”
Even against some steep odds, Neuer likes Germany’s chances given the Bayern Munich-centric core group.
“Especially when the national team has been successful, there’s always been a number of FC Bayern players in the squad. We have that now too. It’s important to be familiar with the processes on the pitch, so it’s always a good thing when you’re already well-drilled,” said Neuer. “We’ll meet some club-mates in the opening game against France at the Allianz Arena. That’ll be like a home game for all of us.”
In addition, Germany will be playing games its group stage games in Munich — which enhances that “staying home” feeling even more.
“We have our base in Herzogenaurach and won’t have to travel long distances to the games,” Neuer said. “We can prepare well, we know the conditions. So it is a small psychological advantage.”