Germany have named Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer as their new national football team captain following the retirement of Bastian Schweinsteiger.
The decision was announced on the team’s official Twitter feed on Thursday:
Schweinsteiger played his final match for Germany in a friendly against Finland on Wednesday evening. Neuer now takes over the role having accrued plenty of international experience, representing the national side on 71 occasions.
As OptaFranz noted, he’s only the second goalkeeper in the history of German football to be bestowed with such an honour:
The Bayern man has been part of the international setup for a long time now, having made his debut for the team in 2009.
Since then, he’s established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, enjoying plenty of success with his club. Additionally, Neuer enjoyed a wonderful tournament as Germany won the FIFA World Cup in 2014.
Stylistically, Neuer’s aggressive brand of goalkeeping has allowed both his club and international team to press high up the pitch, safe in the knowledge he’s a watchful presence at the base of the XI. Now, though, he’ll have to take on the responsibility of leading the national team, too.
Alex Chaffer of DW Sports believes there may have been better candidates than the 30-year-old to get the armband:
Neuer certainly has the calibre to lead this team, although manager Joachim Low will be hopeful the added pressure on his shoulders doesn’t detract from his outstanding goalkeeping. Indeed, the Bayern No. 1 is the kind of character who'd relish the extra expectation.
While Germany remain a force in world football, it won't be an easy job for the former Schalke 04 man.
Given players like Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski, Per Mertesacker, Philipp Lahm and Miroslav Klose have all walked away from the international scene since the World Cup win, new leaders need to emerge. Neuer is one member of the team well capable of filling that void.