Manuel Neuer and David de Gea are arguably the two best goalkeepers in the world, but the gulf between the two shot-stoppers is immense according to Mark Schwarzer.
On BT Sport’s Fletch and Sav programme, the former Chelsea goalkeeper said Bayern Munich’s Neuer is better than De Gea by a “mile” in a video that will likely irk Manchester United supporters.
Schwarzer, who currently plays for table-toppers Leicester, admitted he preferred Neuer and when asked if the difference between the two was a margin he simply said: “mile”.
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He added: “He’s a phenomenal goalkeeper. I think his overall game: the reading of the game, the higher stance he has on the pitch - he plays as a sweeper and also as a goalkeeper.
“I think his overall presence is enormous. He’s a huge, huge athlete and I think it’s proven.”
The Australian went on to call Neuer Germany’s most important player at the 2014 World Cup, which they won thanks to a 1-0 win over Argentina in the final.
“If you look at the last World Cup, he almost single-handedly got Germany to the World Cup final and won it.”
Hyperbole? Perhaps. Neuer was terrific in Brazil but the performance of Thomas Muller in particular was sublime.
Watch the video:
Neuer has revolutionised the goalkeeper position by adopting the ‘sweeper-keeper’ position and it’s a testament to his footballing skills that Bayern coach Pep Guardiola and Germany manager Joachim Lowe are happy for the 29-year-old to play more than 25 yards from his goal.
De Gea, meanwhile, has been a highlight in an otherwise disappointing season for Manchester United. The 25-year-old, who came close to signing for Real Madrid last summer, is reportedly on the Spanish club’s radar again after their transfer ban was temporarily lifted on Friday.
United have a history of signing outstanding goalkeepers and De Gea has followed in the footsteps of Peter Schmeichel and Edwin van der Sar, becoming one of their most important players.
It would be a huge shame for the Red Devils if De Gea leaves Old Trafford before reaching his prime.