Veteran Schalke coach Lothar Matuschak has explained how his old pupil always had his eye on altering the perception of how a goalkeeper should play
By Hassan Talib Haji
Goal 50 star Manuel Neuer had plans to revolutionise the art of goalkeeping from a very young age, his former youth coach at Schalke has revealed.
Bayern Munich's Neuer finished 22nd in our annual list of the 50 greatest players of the past season and earned worldwide acclaim for his ground-breaking performances as Germany won the World Cup.
ALL OF OUR COVERAGE FOR THE 2014 EDITION
|CRISTIANO RONALDO WINS GOAL 50
|GOAL 50: THE COMPLETE COUNTDOWN
|'FOOTBALL IS IN MY BLOOD' - RONALDO|
|WHICH LEAGUE DID BEST IN 2014'S GOAL 50|
|PROSINECKI: MESSI IS NOT FINISHED
|VIDEO: THE CRISTIANO RONALDO STORY
"Even when he was very young Manuel cared about more than just saving shots," Matuschak told Goal.
"As a result, he has taken the style of play for a goalkeeper onto a new level. He is not only a keeper, but also also a player involved in his team's build-up play.
"He has extraordinary skills on his line and inside the penalty area. He is the whole package. I am very happy his performances are being appreciated.“
Matuschak is regarded as something of a Schalke legend, having joined the club in 1995 as goalkeeping coach. His focus since then has been primarily on developing young keepers, bringing through many other Bundesliga No.1s such as Christian Wetklo, Mohamed Amsif, Christofer Heimeroth and Ralf Fahrmann.
But Neuer is his most famous pupil, a goalkeeper who Schalke were very close to releasing as a 12-year-old before Matuschak convinced the club's management to retain him.
Click HERE to see the full list for the 2014 Goal 50
HAVE YOUR SAY
Do you agree with our list of the world's 50 greatest players of the 2013-14 season?
Get involved via our Goal 50 section. Give us all your views on the debate by commenting below and by getting in touch on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #Goal50.