Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer somehow feels like the best of his generation — and underrated all at the same time.
Perhaps Neuer’s status seems underplayed because he is typically so good that you only really mention those rare instances where he makes a mistake. Simply put, Neuer makes the difficult look easy.
Neuer’s continued excellence in 2021, however, was not overlooked by FIFA. The Bayern Munich captain is one of three players up for the “Goalkeeper of the Year” award.
Abendzeitung captured the details on Neuer’s competition for the award:
In addition to Neuer, the Italian European champion Gianluigi Donnarumma from Paris Saint-Germain and the Senegalese Édouard Mendy from Champions League winner Chelsea FC are among the top three. Neuer had already secured the title last year and prevailed against Alisson Becker (Liverpool FC) and Jan Oblak (Atlético Madrid).
Donnarumma powered Italy to a championship at the Euros, while Mendy led Chelsea to a Champions League title. Neuer was probably better than both over the course of the year, but voters are often swayed by shiny trophies — which will likely give the other two candidates a chance to knock off the 2020 winner.