There’s a long ongoing discussion in the German public about The Elf’s first goalkeeper.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen made his concerns known after the last national team outing. Joachim Low kept the Barcelona goalkeeper on the bench for both Euro qualifier matches.
Ter Stegen had an incredible 2018/19 where he was commonly lauded as the world’s best goalkeeper. On the other hand, Manuel Neuer wasn’t as impressive, coming back from a long-term injury.
While it would be a logical choice to give them both a chance, Joachim Low decided not to. Instead, he put Neuer as the number one goalkeeper without giving ter Stegen a fighting chance.
Stegen didn’t like this, and publicly called out the decision in a press conference after coming back to Barcelona from international duty.
Manuel Neuer didn’t hold back, but ter Stegen responded again by saying that you shouldn’t call for competition and then complain when it does come.
This controversial saga lifted opinions from all over Germany. And when that happens, the first one to speak is Bayern president, Uli Hoeness.
In his interview with Sport Bild, Hoeness said:
“We would never accept that [Ter Stegen replacing Neuer as No.1]. [If Bayern are informed of the change] before it happens, we won’t send any players to the national team anymore.”
This sparked a big controversy. When Oliver Bierhoff, the technical director of the German national team, was asked about this, he responded:
“No. And according to FIFA rules, a club is obliged to send their players to the national team anyway.”
Two of Bayern’s current first-team players already felt Low’s anger on their skin. Low cut both Thomas Muller and Jerome Boateng off of the German national team, along with the current Dortmund centre-back, Mats Hummels.
Germany will play more international matches in the mid-October, and it should be interesting to see how Low handles this uncomfortable situation.