Germany & Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has come out to express what it feels like to play football in post pandemic world.
“In fact, we are only allowed to go to the stadium, to the training ground and back home,” the German international guard said in an interview with CNN Sport in an exclusive interview, as Neuer reflected on how the global pandemic has changed Germany. As the country slowly begins to open up and cafes, restaurants and shops fill with people desperate to return to the semblance of social life, professional footballers follow strict guidelines, despite the renewal Bundesliga season 16 May. “We have to socially distance ourselves by planes and buses,” Nouer added. “We sit at tables during meals and wear masks all the time until we actually start eating. “All hygiene measures are constantly carried out until you return home. Even then, we are not allowed to buy groceries or go to a restaurant.”
The English Premier League will start on June 17, although many leading players have expressed concern. Prominent Manchester City player Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Tonytenham Danny Rose have called into question the restart before returning to training, But Neuer believes the way the Bundesliga has resolved the situation can send a message of hope to all club staff concerned about the well-being of themselves and their families. If playing matches without fans is not ideal, Neuer also tried to see the positive sides of the Geisterspiele (ghost games). “Good advice would be to communicate a lot in the field and help each other. There’s a lot you can only get by talking to each other. The massive advantage is that you can communicate and actually understand every word [on the pitch].” It’s all a bigger picture, says Neuer, who knows it’s more than just his desire to play football. “It’s not just that we want to play, it’s our job. The jobs within the clubs and their existence depend on us. We know it’s up to us and we’re trying to implement it [the rules] so that the ball can still roll.” Once the Bundesliga title is secured, Neuer and his teammates will draw attention to winning the German Cup and Champions League.
Neuer is equally excited by the odds that Bayern will win their eighth consecutive league title. Bayern could win the title on Tuesday if the Bavarian club wins away at Werder Bremen. For Neuer, who has won the previous seven titles, number eight will still be special. “It is an emergency and we are ongoing. If you can continue to extend the record that started with greats like Phillip Lahm or Bastian Schweinsteiger and continue with all the new players who have joined, it feels like you have contributed to an era.” If Neuer has filled many pages in football history books, he is eager to write another one in this truly extraordinary time in world history. To succeed now, he feels it would be to defy critics of the relaunch and give hope to the millions struggling during this global crisis. It’s really just more the same for Neuer, who is trying to protect Bayern’s goal despite the obstacles that have flown over him. “I did it at the age of 20 and I will continue at the age of 34,” he says simply.