Neuer vs. ter Stegen – who deserves to be Germany's first-choice keeper?
Manuel Neuer or Marc-André ter Stegen? Sport Bild has asked six former German national team goalkeepers who they believe should be between the sticks for 'Die Mannschaft'.
Bayern München star Manuel Neuer has been Germany's first-choice goalkeeper since the World Cup in South Africa in 2010.
|Manuel Neuer.||Photo: Football.ua/CC-by-SA 3.0|
But as Neuer, who's also the captain of 'Die Mannschaft', is getting older, Marc-André ter Stegen is increasingly putting pressure on the 32-year-old with the FC Barcelona keeper eyeing the role as Germany's number one.
Germany coach Joachim Löw has said that Neuer remains his first-choice keeper for now, but has also made it clear that ter Stegen, 26, will get his chances to impress.
But should ter Stegen already be Löw's preferred keeper now? That's the question Sport Bild has asked six former German national team goalkeepers - and here's what they responded:
Jens Lehmann (made 61 apperances for Germany from 1998 to 2008):
"If you call for a new start, there should be rivalry in all positions - including in the net as it was the case before the World Cup in 2006 with Oliver Kahn and I. Such a rivalry is beneficial for everyone. I currently believe Manuel Neuer is in the front, but he has to improve. Marc-André ter Stegen is a strong challenger, and unlike 'Manu' he still plays in the Champions League."
Bodo Illgner (made 54 appearances for Germany from 1987 to 1994):
"Unfortunately, Manuel Neuer is not as strong as in 2014. Ter Stegen is the newcomer and plays for a great, well-functioning team in Barcelona. Neuer doesn't have the same invulnerability that he used to have. Therefore, they are equal for me. I see the age difference as an advantage for ter Stegen. I would rotate between them and see who does best in this situation."
Sepp Maier (made 95 appearances for Germany from 1966 to 1979):
"Marc-André ter Stegen is out of sight in Barcelona. If he had stayed Germany, things might have looked different. There must be a clear number one in goal. It's a position where you can't always just switch back and forth. Even if ter Stegen is better at the moment, you have to let Manuel Neuer play."
Tim Wiese (made six appearances for Germany from 2008 to 2012):
"Basically, Marc-André ter Stegen should play, because he's now the better goalkeeper. Manuel Neuer doesn't have the sovereignty that he had two or three years ago. But I can understand why Germany coach Joachim Löw is holding on to him. Firstly, you don't swap a goalkeeper as fast as an outfield player. And secondly, Neuer is Löw's captain."
Uli Stein (made six appearances for Germany from 1983 to 1986):
If you look at the performances, Marc-André ter Stegen has deserved to play. He has been almost flawless for FC Barcelona for the last two seasons and is currently in better form. Basically, Neuer is still playing at a high level, but he hasn't been at the level as before his injury for a while now. Before the World Cup in 2018, I already predicted that Neuer would not be as strong as before his injury."
Eike Immel (made 19 appearances for Germany from 1980 to 1988):
"I'm a big fan of Manuel Neuer, but Marc-André ter Stegen is simply better now. While Neuer has been performing at an ordinary level following his injury, ter Stegen adds world class to the team. And because he's doing better sportingly, he should play. On the other hand, it would be strange for Löw to put his captain on the bench. But if it's all about performances, then he has to do so and reward ter Stegen for his great saves."