Manuel Neuer says the retiring Bastian Schweinsteiger is a great example to follow as Germany captain and revealed the midfielder was gracious in passing on the armband.
It was announced last month that Schweinsteiger would step down from international football and the 32-year-old enjoyed an emotional farewell on Wednesday as Germany defeated Finland 2-0 in his final match.
Neuer was confirmed as his successor on Thursday and the Bayern Munich goalkeeper expressed the privilege he felt at being handed the honour.
“I am very proud to be the captain of the German national team,” he said in a media conference ahead of Germany’s opening World Cup qualifier against Norway on Sunday.
“We as a team will try, together with the coaching staff, to do our best. So I don’t think there will be much change.
“Philipp Lahm did a great job as captain and Schweinsteiger as well. Now I hope to follow in their footsteps.
“I think that we are on the right path as a team. We always had a strong team council where I had an important role. I was the reserve captain behind Bastian Schweinsteiger. I think we did a lot together and I hope it will stay that way.
“Basti and I talked to each other and he was happy and hoped that I would become the captain. I think his family was here and we sat together and he hoped the best for me.”
Despite seeing team-mates Schweinsteiger and Lahm retire from international duty at a relatively young age, Neuer has no plans to follow suit.
“I am now 30 years old and goalkeepers usually can play longer,” he said. “But I have to listen to my body and not be too ambitious.
“I think as long as I feel good and am able to perform on a high level I will keep playing because I love football so much. After that I have many options, but haven’t set any goals.”
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