Manuel Neuer has been named in the Bayern Munich matchday squad for the upcoming trip to Berlin for the DFB Pokal finals, the club has confirmed. Jupp Heyneckes can finally call upon his first choice custodian for the last game of the season for the reigning Bundesliga champions, with the match coming at just the right time ahead of the FIFA World Cup.
Neuer had missed the beginning of the season with a metatarsal fracture endured last season in April. Having missed the entire pre-season, Neuer made a return in mid-August. After a couple of weeks of training, Neuer suffered the same injury again, this time forcing him to miss 45 games and an astonishing 8 months straight. He has been back in training since mid-April, using the time as an auxiliary pre-season to prepare for the biggest footballing bonanza, the World Cup.
Neuer will be hoping to get some action in the DFB Pokal finals to prove to the German head coach Low that he can take him on the flight to Russia. Meanwhile, Thomas Muller has been cleared to participate in the final while Arjen Robben, who recently signed a one contract extension, is set to look on from the sidelines.
The inclusion of Neuer is a good news for Germany and their manager Joachim Low, who said the following about their captain:
"The coaching team have been in contact with Manuel almost every day for the past few weeks. We’re taking four goalkeepers to South Tyrol because Manuel rejoined full training this week at Bayern Munich, which means that he can train fully with us as well. We want to assess the situation for ourselves and use the chance to observe and assess him at the training camp.
We know the responsibilities for the team, health and the fans, as does Manuel. Is he in a position to produce the top performances we’re used to? We’ll make a final decision that on 4th June. Until then, we’ll see how it goes each day.
After South Tyrol, we’ll talk openly and honestly about whether he can play at the World Cup or not. Nobody can go to such a tournament without game time – Manuel knows that. Everything is looking positive at the moment; his injury is fully healed. Manuel can cope with the full strain of training and more importantly he’s our captain. We hope that he is able to come."