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2018 World Cup: Manuel Neuer To Make Comeback From Foot Injury Against Austria

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Joachim Low recently confirmed Manuel Neuer will only travel to the World Cup as Germany’s number one stopper.

The Bayern Munich goalkeeper has not played a minute of competitive football since sustaining a long-term foot injury on club duty in September, and he is facing pressure to claim the ‘number one” shirt ahead of Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Germany’s goalkeeping coach, Andreas Kopke has confirmed that Neuer will make his long-awaited return from injury in a friendly against Austria in a bid to prove he’s fit for next month’s tournament in Russia.

“As things stand, Manuel Neuer will play on Saturday, those are the games that he needs right now,” Kopke said, adding that “the line-ups will be determined on the go,” when asked if Neuer will start or come on as a substitute while he was speaking during a news conference at the team’s pre-tournament training camp. Neuer, 32, captains both his club and country and was a key member of Germany’s successful campaign in Brazil in 2014. Kopke continued: ”There’s still time to look and prepare and see what exactly…the players [are capable of]. There were exchanges throughout the training between Manuel and the coaching staff to see how he’s coming on. The foot seems to be in a good spot and there was continuous contact, back and forth, to ensure everything is fine. If there was a problem he would come forward.”

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If Neuer fails to prove his fitness after the coming friendly games, Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen will take the number one position in Russia. “The coaching staff has discussed how Ter Stegen fits in,” Kopke said. “As it’s essentially consistent through the German line-ups, every player is able to step in. You can’t take away from what Neuer has done as the captain, leading the team on and off the field. But whoever starts will have the utmost confidence of the players and coaching staff.” Germany will face Mexico in the World Cup Group F opener on June 17.

Photo Credit: Getty

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