Germany have confirmed that goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will captain their tilt at this summer’s World Cup in Russia.
The Bayern Munich goalkeeper has been out of competitive action since September, after suffering a reoccurrence of a fractured foot suffered towards the back end of the 2016/17 season.
Although the initial prognosis ruled Neuer out until January last year, he subsequently did not resume first-team training until April – with his return to Bayern’s matchday squad coming in the DFB-Pokal final against Eintracht Frankfurt towards the end of May.
The 32-year-old’s place in the German squad if fit has never been in question, despite his absence from first-team action. He has stepped up the intensity of his training in recent weeks, and heads up a goalkeeping trio heading to Russia that comprises of Neuer, Marc Andre ter-Stegen and Kevin Trapp.
Joachim Löw has now confirmed that Neuer will continue to captain the side, suggesting that he is winning his battle to be fit for Germany’s opening World Cup Group F clash against Mexico on June 17.
The Bavarian stopper has won 75 caps for his country so far, and is widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world – notably for his ability with his feet, with Neuer often playing the role of ‘sweeper-keeper’ behind the Germans defensive line.
He will lead a Germany side blended with both experience and the exuberance of youth, though the squad will surprisingly be lacking Manchester City winger Leroy Sane, who was omitted from the final 23-man squad.