Kerstin Joensson/Associated Press
Manuel Neuer is, undoubtedly, the best goalkeeper in the world. When he lifted the World Cup with Germany this summer, the famous trophy couldn't have been in much safer hands.
For Bayern Munich last year in the Bundesliga, he recorded a fantastic 15 clean sheets from 31 appearances and only conceded an average of 0.58 goals per game. In addition, he made 1.61 saves per game and 3.13 saves for every goal he conceded.
With an attacking line-up such as Bayern's, combined with those goalkeeping statistics, it's no surprise to anyone that they ran away with the Bundesliga title, finishing an incredible 19 points in front of their nearest challengers, Dortmund, and clinching the title after just 27 matches.
However, it isn't just for his goalkeeping that Neuer receives the plaudits, as The Guardian's Paddy Vipond puts it: "Neuer is not only a world-class goalkeeper, but he is a footballer as well. In the sweeper-keeper role he is more than just a net guard."
His sweeper-keeper antics have been the focal point of many discussions—particularly after his performance for Germany against Algeria during the World Cup—with many condemning his eagerness to come out of the box. However, for the most part, it works, and Neuer has demonstrated its use numerous times, foiling opponents with quick thinking.
His performances have rightly gained attention, and he was nominated for UEFA's Best Player in Europe award. The award eventually went, somewhat inevitably, to Cristiano Ronaldo, but just being nominated shows that Neuer belongs with the world's elite.
As Bayern Munich go searching for success both at home and in Europe, fans and players alike will be hoping that the Bundesliga's best player keeps performing to the incredibly high standard he has already set.