Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness hit out at disgruntled Germany goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, the German Football Association (DFB) and the media amid the ongoing debate involving Manuel Neuer, who he believes is the “much better” shot-stopper.
Tension between Bayern keeper Neuer and Barcelona’s Ter Stegen has been high after the latter voiced his frustration about the lack of international opportunities for Germany.
Despite 22-time international Ter Stegen’s fine form with the LaLiga champions, captain Neuer is Germany’s number one and started ahead of the 27-year-old during the latest round of Euro 2020 qualifiers.
Neuer – a World Cup winner with Germany having amassed 90 caps – accused Ter Stegen of putting himself before the team when he expressed frustration with the selection order, and his positional rival described the 33-year-old’s criticism as “inappropriate”.
Hoeness fiercely weighed into the Neuer and Ter Stegen debate following Bayern’s 3-0 win over Red Star Belgrade in their Champions League opener on Wednesday.
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“I think that this is a joke and especially the Munich press I think it’s not okay what they do,” Hoeness told reporters. “The West German press is heavily supporting Marc-Andre ter Stegen as if he won 17 times the World Cup. And from the South German press I don’t see any support.
“I think it’s impossible to make such a topic public because he has no claim to play there [in the national team]. With the goalkeepers it’s different than with the other.
“He [Neuer] was the best goalkeeper in the world for many years. Now he was injured sometime but it was clear that if he becomes the old one again – and he is the old one again – there is no discussion if just him can be the number one. I hoped for more support from the German football federation. We frequently have troubles with DFB.
“First of all, I remember how our three players were kicked out in a very bad way of the national team [Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng and former defender Mats Hummels] and now this with Manuel Neuer is the same. I don’t know how you cannot do something against it when a player goes public with a topic that he should only discuss with [head coach] Joachim Low. This is not okay.
“We have our opinion and we won’t let this happen in the future that our players will be damaged without reason because Ter Stegen is a good keeper but Manuel Neuer is much better. And has more experience. There is no discussion necessary. Nobody in the world can have doubts with Manuel Neuer being Germany’s goalkeeper. Neuer can play as long as he stays healthy. He will always be the best. There is no discussion about it.”
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