Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer named as Germany’s new football captain

Berlin (AFP) – Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was on Thursday named as the new captain of world champions Germany following Bastian Schweinsteiger’s international retirement.

“For me it is a great honour,” said Neuer after the German Football Association (DFB) announced his appointment on their website.

“It makes me proud to be captain of the team, but we all know that we need several players to lead on the pitch, if we are to succeed.

“The key things are already always discussed within ‘die Mannschaft’ and decided together.

“Of course, the captaincy has great symbolic significance.

“I am very pleased with the trust the coach has shown in me in this appointment.”

Having made his international debut in 2009, in a 7-2 win against the United Arab Emirates in Dubai, Neuer has kept 25 clean sheets in 71 of his Germany appearances.

He was between the posts when they won the 2014 World Cup title and was voted the best goalkeeper in the world in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

The 30-year-old will wear the captain’s armband for Germany’s opening 2018 World Cup qualifier away to Norway in Oslo on Sunday.

Head coach Joachim Loew said he was in the luxurious position of having several candidates to choose from.

Neuer’s Bayern team-mates Jerome Boateng, Thomas Mueller and Mats Hummels were all touted as options by the German media.

“In the national team, we are in the fortunate position that we have several leading players who fit the format and a captain’s profile,” said Loew, who has been Germany’s boss for the last decade.

“For me, Manuel Neuer was the logical successor to Bastian Schweinsteiger.

“He brings everything to the table that I’d wish for in a captain.

“His sporting achievements are outstanding. Manuel is always there for the team, he is a team player and an absolute role model.

“He accepts responsibility, but is always calm and collected.”

Although he has been named as Schweinsteiger’s permanent replacement, the Oslo qualifier will not be the first time Neuer has captained his country.

He was skipper in five of Germany’s six matches at June’s Euro 2016 which Schweinsteiger had started on the bench after recovering from a knee injury.

Neuer has worn the captain’s armband in a total of 14 internationals, starting with Germany’s 4-2 defeat to Argentina in Duesseldorf in September 2014.

Lothar Matthaeus, who captained Germany to the 1990 World Cup title in Italy, says Neuer is the right man for the job.

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