Update: 3:45PM EST — Neuer posts farewell message
Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer posted a goodbye message on Instagram to former club goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic:
Dear Toni, today is the end of an era at FC Bayern Munich. With you after 11,5 years, not only an absolute pioneer of the modern goalkeeping game, but above all a great person is leaving the club. Everyone, not only in Munich, knows that all these achievements would never have been possible without you! Last but not least, you shaped and lifted me and my goalkeeping game to a new level. I will miss you! #dankefüralles
In a release posted on the club website, Bayern Munich announced that it had parted ways with goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic:
FC Bayern Munich released goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalović, 42, this Monday with immediate effect.
Hasan Salihamidžić , FC Bayern board member for sport: “As goalkeeper coach, Toni was involved in our team’s success in recent years. We would like to thank him for that. In particular, differences about the way of working together have now led to us going our separate ways. We wish Toni Tapalović all the best for the future.”
Well, this just came out of nowhere. According to a sudden report by Bild, Bayern Munich have fired longtime goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic with immediate effect. The 42-year-old has been at Bayern since 2011, but it looks like he will not finish the season with the record champions.
This move will hurt any chance of Manuel Neuer returning to active duty at the club — per reports, he was the main person keeping Tapalovic on the payroll. Neuer more or less worked independently from the rest of the team, with Julian Nagelsmann having very little input on the goalkeeping side of things.
This was always going to cause issues. Per the report, the reason for the sacking was irreconcilable differences between Tapalovic and Nagelsmann. Apparently, the goalkeeping coach found it difficult to follow instructions. Hasan Salihamidzic tried and failed to mediate the situation between the two, but eventually failed. Hence the sacking.
This change signals the death knell for Manuel Neuer’s future at Bayern Munich. With Yann Sommer, Bayern have procured a short-term stopgap for the current season. However, the long term intention has always been to integrate Alexander Nubel (currently on loan at AS Monaco) into the setup. However, Tapalovic was criticized by Nubel for only prioritizing Neuer, which was cited by Bild as a reason for his sacking.
Whether this will be enough to coax Nubel back from AS Monaco remains to be seen. However, you can be sure that Manuel Neuer won’t take kindly to his longtime friend and colleague being sacked while he’s out with injury.