Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer marked his return to action for the first time since recovering from his leg injury that he sustained after the World Cup in Qatar with Germany last winter. And he did it in some style, collecting a clean sheet in a wild 8-0 romp over Darmstadt on Saturday.
“I’m very happy, the happiest I’ve ever been after a game. I was positively excited. Not nervous, but somewhat curious at what would happen. I was really happy to be back in the Allianz Arena, to play in front of the fans and to be on the pitch with the team,” Neuer said afterward for Sky Sport, as captured by @iMiaSanMia.
He had been given the green light to come back last weekend against Mainz, but manager Thomas Tuchel stuck with Sven Ulreich for that match as well as the Champions League trip to Galatasaray to give Neuer more time to ease back.
Ultimately it made for a memorable return for the German international. Neuer made an early pass that resulted in Joshua Kimmich’s fourth-minute sending off, but also a crucial early save that kept Bayern from falling behind. By the second half, Bayern wound up a man up and the floodgates well and truly opened. By the end, there was a hat-trick from Harry Kane, a brace from Jamal Musiala, a brace from Leory Sané, and a goal from Thomas Müller.
Neuer’s contract expires at the end of this season, but for now, that is not on his mind. His comeback, after all, is only beginning.
“It’s important for me now to come back fully. One game isn’t enough to make you sit back and relax,” Bayern’s captain explained (via Sport1’s Kerry Hau).
Interested in more analysis of this crazy game? Is Harry Kane suffering from Erling Haaland syndrome? Why doesn’t Thomas Müller play more? We talk about all that and more in our postgame podcast! Listen to it below or on Spotify.
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