There was a time when Manuel Neuer was a young hotshot from Schalke breaking his way into a star-studded Bayern Munich team.
Now, at 37, the legendary Bayern and Germany keeper finds himself the most senior player on a squad still studded with stars — and still searching for young players to offer opportunities to.
“I’m always happy to see new faces with us,” Neuer said of the club’s campus talents in a recent interview captured via @iMiaSanMia. “The boys are making a good development and it’s also good for the coach so he can try out new things and have more players in practice games. Every youngster is trying to show what they can do on the pitch. It’s always nice to have fresh blood in the team.”
Such opportunities are hard to come by when the glare of the spotlight is as bright as it is in Munich. The Bavarians, and coach Thomas Tuchel — is his seat getting ever so slightly warm already? — are constantly in win-now mode. And with Bayer Leverkusen ahead in the Bundesliga standings, there are surely no more points to be dropped in the league this season.
Nevertheless, youngsters like Frans Krätzig, Aleksander Pavlović, and others from the campus ranks are getting their chances to impress and even to feature in the senior side here and there. Who will be the next breakout star among them?