2014 World Cup: Oliver Kahn has concerns over Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer
Germany legend, Oliver Kahn has expressed his concerns over the fitness of Manuel Neuer with just days before the start of Germany’s World Cup campaign.
Speaking to Sport1television, the goalkeeper and World Cup finalist, said: “It’s a huge stress, this, for Manuel. Not only does he have the stress you always get from a major tournament, but he also doesn’t know how his body’s going to respond every day.”
“He’s got enough experience to know when he is fit.”
The match against Portugal takes place on the 16th June and could be a crucial fixture in terms of the team’s progress this summer.
Borussia Dortmund shot stopper, Roman Weidenfeller, is on standby for the first game having played in their last friendly against Cameroon which ended 2-2. He will also start ahead of his rival for the game against Armenia – their final warm up before they kick off in Brazil.
Joachim Low has overlooked Neuer for the match as there are still minimal concerns about his fitness. Despite this, the manager insists Neuer will play the first group game.
“Manuel Neuer has come on a lot and we discussed last night that Manuel won’t play [against Armenia] as we don’t want to take any risks, even if it would be only minimal.
“But as he and (national team) doctor (Hans-Wilhelm) Muller-Wohlfahrt have said, there is no risk at all of him not being fit for the first game against Portugal.
“There won’t be any problem. Manuel Neuer will be ready.”
The declaration from Low is straight to the point but if Neuer is definitely going to start a week on Monday then surely it would have been more beneficial to give third choice keeper, Ron-Robert Zieler, a run out and gain more experience instead of handing Weidenfeller another start.
Neuer has been back in training for a week as he continues to raise his fitness following the shoulder injury he picked up in the DFB Pokal final which finished 2-0 to Bayern.
This will be his second World Cup campaign where in South Africa he kept three clean sheets and helped his team reach the semi finals. He will hoping to go one better this time around and get to the final where one of his predecessors did in 2002 in Japan.
Kahn was voted the best player at this tournament after making a massive impact in his side’s progress to the final by keeping five clean sheets. This made him the first goalkeeper to win the Adidas Golden ball award.
The country was in good spirits after the impressive displays their Captain had put in and throughout the final, he looked unstoppable. But just seven minutes after the hour mark, Kahn spilled a long range shot from Rivaldo and Ronaldo swooped in to put Brazil in the lead and on their way to the win.
The great Kahn will be hoping the same doesn’t happen to his 28 year old prodigy who follows in a line of great goalkeepers. At the prime of his career, Neuer will be wanting to put his mark on this tournament following back to back successful seasons at Bayern Munich in all competitions which has remarked him as the best goalkeeper in the world.
Helping to bring home the country’s first World Cup in 24 years would certainly certify this claim.