Neuer may have to leave Bayern Munich after stunning club with outburst, claims Effenberg

By Sports Desk February 04, 2023

Manuel Neuer may end up leaving Bayern Munich at the end of the season after his scathing criticism of the move to dismiss the club's goalkeeping coach, claims Stefan Effenberg.

Bayern captain Neuer said the sacking of Toni Tapalovic was "the most brutal thing I've experienced in my career", and those comments drew a sharp rebuke from club CEO Oliver Kahn.

Kahn, himself a former Bayern goalkeeper, said Neuer's remarks were not befitting of his role as captain and promised the club would directly confront the 36-year-old about the comments.

Tapalovic made his Bayern exit soon after Neuer suffered a broken leg while on a skiing trip in December, after the World Cup.

In an interview with The Athletic, published this week, Neuer said news of his mentor's departure was "a blow – when I was already down on the ground".

Reports claimed Tapalovic and head coach Julian Nagelsmann had become incompatible, with sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic saying in a January 23 announcement: "Differences, particularly over the way we worked together, have now led to us going our separate ways."

Former Germany midfielder Effenberg, who was a key figure at Bayern in two separate playing spells, believes Neuer may have written himself out of Bayern's future with the tone of his remarks.

Effenberg described it as "an interview that will probably go down in football history", saying Neuer should appreciate coaching changes only ever happen for a reason.

"This is the way it is in life and in football," Effenberg wrote in his t-online column. "Sometimes paths separate when certain things have happened.

"Those responsible certainly had their reasons for making a change – and they did. With this, FC Bayern makes decisions for the future of the club.

"A player simply has to accept that, even if he's the captain. Because nothing and nobody is above the club. No player, no coach is bigger than Bayern Munich."

Neuer has 18 months left on his Bayern deal, and he may struggle to displace Yann Sommer, who has been brought in from Borussia Monchengladbach to cover for his absence.

For many years, Neuer was widely regarded as the world's best goalkeeper, but he is in the autumn of his career now.

Effenberg wrote: "He should think about whether it makes any sense for him to still fulfil his contract with FC Bayern, which is valid until 2024, after these allegations, or whether it might be better to leave the club. From the feeling it could well be that it will even come down to that. I wouldn't be surprised if they split up this summer."

A Champions League winner in 2001 with Bayern, Effenberg said the emotional nature of Neuer's comments "are no longer good prerequisites for further good and harmonious cooperation".

"Both sides now have a few months to think about how things should continue beyond the summer – or not," Effenberg added. "With this interview, Neuer certainly made life very difficult, if not impossible, for Bayern for the future."

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