- Robert Lewandowski and Manuel Neuer had been topped The Best in December
- Both proceed to offer a document-breaking provide of targets and clear sheets
- We put this star duo below the microscope forward of the FIFA Club World Cup ultimate
In a sport that boils right down to scoring targets at one finish and holding them out on the different, FC Bayern München have lengthy relied on two masters in these respective trades.
They have been on the membership for a mixed whole of 16 years, and each have stood accused in seasons passed by of getting handed their peak. In fact, given the size of their earlier achievements, and the actual fact each at the moment are nicely into their 30s, it will be totally comprehensible if that had been the case.
But Robert Lewandowski and Manuel Neuer, at 32 and 34 respectively, are enjoying better than ever. Recognition of that got here in December, after they had been topped – for the primary time – as The Best FIFA Men’s Player and The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper.
If something, they’ve continued to enhance within the weeks since. Both have set spectacular new Bundesliga information and, yesterday, served up their respective specialities as soon as once more as Bayern opened their FIFA Club World Cup marketing campaign with a few Lewandowski targets and a Neuer clear sheet.
With keeper and striker alike positive to be key males in Thursday’s ultimate in opposition to Tigres UANL, FIFA.com seems to be nearer at these trendy-day greats.
A supreme centre-ahead, the Pole has advanced and improved over current years to turn out to be a frontrunner and workforce-centered all-rounder in Bayern’s squad. “It has gone so far that he can almost enjoy an assist now,” Thomas Muller mirrored with a smile just lately.
Goals stay his inventory in commerce although and, proper now, there isn’t any-one in world soccer more proficient at scoring them.
22 – At the midway level within the present Bundesliga season, Lewandowski had already amassed a outstanding 22 targets. In the league’s complete historical past, no-one had ever managed such a outstanding tally on the midway level, with Gerd Muller’s document of 20 from 1968/69 having been eclipsed.
In his phrases
“For years I’ve been hearing that this is the best Lewandowski. It doesn’t matter how old I am. I can still get better, improve my skills. I try to be the best Lewandowski every season.”
In the phrases of others
“He’s one of the most complete strikers around, if not the best No9 in the world. He has everything you need up front. He can head the ball, finish and hold it up.”
By the tip of 2014, Neuer was already a world champion with membership and nation, and had been lauded for revolutionising – if not perfecting – the position of sweeper-keeper. But the years that adopted had been blighted by accidents and, at instances, detached kind.
Suggestions that he was on the slide have been emphatically disproved, nonetheless, and Neuer’s heroics had been a key think about Bayern reclaiming the UEFA Champions League final season and organising this second tilt on the Club World Cup.
198 – The variety of clear sheets Neuer has stored within the Bundesliga alone. His 197th, registered final month in opposition to former membership Schalke, noticed the 34-yr-outdated set a brand new document, surpassing the lengthy-standing benchmark set by Bayern legend Oliver Kahn.
In his phrases
“It has to be said that I have a lot of confidence in the people in front of me. You can see that we just have a great team on the pitch, and for me personally it’s because of this that I’m never afraid to do what I have to do in the game. Instead, I’m very brave and always try to make the right decision.”
In the phrases of others
“He’s just getting better and better. He’s like a red wine that matures each year. He anticipates pretty much every shot, wherever it comes from, and makes the save. He’s the best goalkeeper in the world, and I think he’s even the best goalkeeper of all time. We’ve always had good goalkeepers in Germany, at Bayern, when you talk about Sepp Maier or Oliver Kahn, but I think Manuel Neuer has taken goalkeeping to a new level.”