This video proves there was a time when Manuel Neuer was cute and vulnerable, not the ice-cold, dead-eyed destroyer of opposing forwards’ dreams that we know him as today.
And that time was 1991, when he was aged four (aww!) and in goal for a team in a Mini Kicker tournament (bless his little gloves!)
Bamboozled by a slaloming run and precise side-foot finish from an opponent, Cute Neuer bursts into tears after conceding a late goal to lose the game and is comforted by a coach in a shell-suit (proving the vid’s early 90s authenticity). And then he runs back into the net to collect a teddy bear! OMG, SO CUTE I MIGHT BARF.
Tactical insights we can glean from the 24-year-old footage: Neuer’s hatred of losing has helped mold him into the world’s top ‘keeper. And notice how he stays on his line for the goal, failing to narrow the angle and giving the striker a simple finish. There’s almost no doubt that this was the moment that convinced him he needed to be more pro-active at rushing out of the goalmouth. Yes, this was the moment that the sweeper-keeper legend was born.
Because we always strive for balanced, in-depth journalism that tells all sides of the story, let’s put the cuteness of Little Neuer in perspective by linking to a video of Big Neuer running up to a woman from behind and pouring beer over her head, which is kind of a dick move.