Criticism leaves Germany's Neuer cold ahead of Hungary game

Criticism leaves Germany's Neuer cold ahead of Hungary game

HERZOGENAURACH, Germany - Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is not wasting any time on a debate over his recent performances, saying any analysis was taking place internally with the focus now on Fridays' second Euro 2024 Group A game.

Neuer has been the undisputed Germany number one since the 2010 World Cup but in recent games, including Bayern Munich's Champions League semi-final elimination by Real Madrid, he has looked far from world class.

The 38-year-old broke his leg in December, 2022 while skiing following a disappointing World Cup first-round exit in Qatar, and did not return to action until November.

But Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann opted for Neuer as his tournament number one, relegating 32-year-old Marc-Andre ter Stegen to the bench again.

"I have been seeing it (debate) from the outside to be honest," Neuer told a press conference on Monday. "I did not read anything and that is really how I have always done it.

"We discuss everything internally with those responsible. We look at the videos and evaluate everything based on those videos. So I did not spare any thoughts on this debate."

Ter-Stegen had voiced his disappointment shortly before tournament in Germany got under way but said he accepted his role and would fully support the team.

"The trust is what's important and the trust among team mates and coaching staff is very high," Neuer said. "And for me the focus was on the Scotland game and then the next group matches."The Germans crushed Scotland 5-1 on Friday and Neuer had very little to do against a toothless opposition.

Their second game is on Wednesday against Hungary who lost 3-1 to Switzerland in their opener.

"We have started preparations for the Hungary game and the focus and concentration is increasing," Neuer said. "Against Scotland we exuded dominance from the start. We scored after 10 minutes and that did is a lot of good.

"But we have our feet on the ground. We have some self confidence now but Hungary will be a different level.

"The Swiss combined well... but in the second half Hungary were pressing and were closer to scoring than the Swiss. This is a warning for us and we will not underestimate them." REUTERS

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