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.
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"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.
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