Manuel Neuer's qualities as a goalkeeper are numerous and well documented.
He is big and dominant in the air, a wonderful shot stopper with lightening quick reflexes and remarkable agility for a big man, he has an enormous leap and his handling is almost impeccable.
His positional awareness in the goal is excellent and his ability at narrowing angles and dominating one on one situations is second to none.
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But in addition to these convention goalkeeping attributes, he also has another, absolute insanity and arrogance, almost bordering on recklessness. These are aspects of goalkeeping which separate the good from the extraordinary.
Every game you watch him play, you will see him charging off his line to usher balls out for throw ins against onrushing attackers, win diving headers with attackers and pick up the ball in well outside his box and play passes both short and long range with his defenders.
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Neuer rarely makes mistakes
Most keepers would be derided as being reckless, eccentric and therefore a major risk, making defenders and supporters alike nervous.
But these charges are never leveled against Neuer, and rightly so. This is because of how rarely he fails, him only being culpable a handful of occasions in his career for reckless goalkeeping.
Having a keeper able to play like this, and still inspire confidence in defenders is such an invaluable benefit for a team.
It allows the defence to push up higher, without worrying about there being too large a space in behind the defence, as the sweeper keeper is able to mop up effectively.
So often, keepers who play this role are liabilities, often lacking the ability to compliment their recklessness, but this is not so with Neuer, and this is why he, along with de Gea and Courtois, are probably the best three keepers in the world at the moment.
His reading of the game is excellent, he knows precisely when to come off his line, and his dominance and communication with defenders mean he rarely, if ever causes confusion in the back line because of this.
He is also lightening quick off his line, and his arrogance means he never hesitates, which is so important when playing in this style. Hesitation often leads to disaster, and he never hesitates.
His astonishing arrogance also helps him no end in one on one situations. Each time it almost seems like he knows he will stock the attacker, and this wreaks havoc with even the most clinical of finishers.
But is his seemingly insane charges outside his box, coupled with both technical goalkeeping ability, communication, and skill with the ball at his feet, which truly set him apart from all others in world football.
Genius and insanity often go hand in hand, and this is the case with Neuer (his desire to take penalties being testament to this).
In his case, the combination truly has created something remarkable. Though there will be argument as to who is the best goalkeeper in the world, perhaps de Gea's handling and shot stopping are marginally better and he is also a gifted passer of the ball,
Neuer's contribution to the team goes far beyond just the traditional aspects of goalkeeping, and this means he'll be remembered long after he's retired, and i'm sure he is destined to become a legendary goalkeeper.
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