Commenting on keeping a clean sheet upon his return from a 331 day absence, German footballing legend Manuel Neuer spoke on his mood, future, and performance of his replacement Sven Ulreich during his post-match interview.
The veteran net-minder also caught a significant amount of flak for injuring himself on a ski holiday after the tournament. Neuer's Sky interviewer made a point of asking the player what he thought of the talk suggesting that he step aside. Unsurprisingly, the Bayern #1 remained adamant about his future plans.
"There were definitely a lot of ups and downs, that's for sure," Neuer said of his long injury layoff, "But I always had the will to return. I was very ambitious and agreed it together with many experts, doctors, conditioning trainers, the coaches and also my team-mates - and of course I am very grateful to them. I've no thoughts on retirement."
"I'm very happy," Neuer said when discussing his feelings after 90 minutes on the pitch, "I'm as happy as I'be been after a game. I was really excited [prior to kickoff] and still feel excited to be playing in the Allianz Arena playing in front of the hometown fans as part of the team."
As it turned out, Neuer's replacement during the final phase latest long-injury layoff happened to be same keeper who filled in for him following the metatarsal surgery that sidelined him for most of the 2017/18 campaign. Sven Ulreich found his way back to the German giants after a one-year-stint with HSV and was available to fill in for Neuer this year following Yann Sommer's departure over the summer.
"These are situations that have happened more often in the past," Neuer said, "Ulle always stood his ground. Of course, I am also very grateful to him. We have a great relationship and I'm happy for him that he has performed so well. And he's just as happy for me."