When Bayern Munich splashed out €22million to sign goalkeeper Manuel Neuer last summer from Schalke 04, they knew that they had secured an established stop stopper. What they may not have realised is the Neuer is also as effective on the ground with his feet as he is with his hands. But the Bayern management team is in no doubt now after Neuer showed off his skills as a midfielder late into the game this past Sunday against Bayer Leverkusen.
Trailing 2-1 with only injury time left to play, Bayern threw caution to the wind and sent all their players forward in a desperate hope to snatch a late equalizer. Neuer too joined in positioning himself on the half way line, to help keep the ball in Leverkusen half. Neuer showed good composure and skill to keep the ball in possession and distribute te ball to the wings. At one stage he even tackled a player, then beat two before passing to Jerome Boateng to cross to striker Claudio Pizarro for one last chance. Pizarro couldn’t find the target and Leverkusen held on to win the game.
Bayern remain top of the league but their lead has been cut to 4 points now over Neuer’s old club, Schalke. It may have been a disappointing result for the team but Neuer’s skills are sure to give manager, Jupp Heynckes food for thought. It’s unlikely the coach will want to start his star goalkeeper in midfield any time soon but if the need arises, he can be assured that Neuer would be a more than reasonable replacement.
To watch Neuer’s midfield performance, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhEOwDQ4w9c