Manuel Neuer came out of the doctors last week with his arm in sling, but insisted he would be back to play to start in the World Cup. However, with the opening group game against Portugal drawing nearer, perhaps Joachim Löw will opt for Dortmund shot stopper Roman Weidenfeller.
Germany’s second choice goalkeeper, Weidenfeller, has only appeared once for his country and that cap only came in November against England, yet he did get a clean sheet that day as it finished 1-0 at Wembley. He was the oldest German goalkeeping debutante.
The towering Neuer came out of the doctors supporting his right arm and it was revealed that the 28-year-old had suffered a small tear in the AC joint. Doctors still said he would be able to attend the training camp in Italy.
Despite speculation that his 33-year-old compatriot is in line to take the Bayern keeper’s place, Weidenfeller spoke fondly of his rival and is confident he will be back to take his rightful place in between the sticks.
“I'm pretty certain Manuel will be back in time, but if anything were to happen, then I would be ready,” the Dortmund keeper told sport1.de.
“It's sensational for me to be involved. I think it rounds off my career perfectly, particularly to go to a football-crazy country like Brazil.”
The Germans have always been well equipped in the goalkeeping department and Neuer is up there with the greats such as Jens Lehmann, Oliver Kahn and Sepp Maier. Weidenfeller has just been unlucky to have not been given more appearances considering what he has achieved in his club career. He has made 311 appearances for Dortmund and, during his time at Signal Iduna Park, has won two Bundesliga titles, two Super Cups and one DFB Pokal.
Neuer is just one of a number of concerns that Löw has heading into his third World Cup campaign. Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Miroslav Klose and Sami Khedira are all nursing injuries with just four weeks to go before they meet Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. Coincidently, all of those named are seasoned veterans and will be vital for the country’s World Cup hopes.
Another similarity is that this fixture against Portugal will be a repeat of their first game at the European Championships in 2012 where they beat Paulo Bento's men 1-0.
It is likely that these line-ups will be unchanged from when they clashed in Western Ukraine but this opening game will mean a lot more to the nations as Ronaldo has the weight of a nations hopes on his shoulders whilst Germany look to climb back to the top of world football in the country where it is lived and breathed.
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