The Germany goalkeeper speaks to EURO2020.com looking ahead to a massive fixture at Wembley.
Perhaps the most recognisable face in Germany’s UEFA EURO 2020 squad, Bayern München goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will hope to keep a low profile when his side take on England at Wembley in the round of 16.
A FIFA World Cup winner with Germany in 2014, the 35-year-old aims to add the EURO title to his immense personal trophy haul, but a formidable-looking task awaits Germany as they face England – with home fans at Wembley still remembering the penalty shoot-outs that ended the Three Lions’ campaigns at the 1990 World Cup and EURO ’96.
I think the attitude stays the same, the motivation as well. We’re playing in a EURO. We started against some really strong teams, and we’re carrying on in the same vein. We are playing England at Wembley, which is very special for us Germans, and of course we are all bursting with motivation. We’ll have to give it our all and the little details will be decisive. We can’t afford to make mistakes.
It’s always a trade-off between taking risks in attack and keeping it tight in defence. We’ve scored a lot of goals in the tournament, but at the same time we’ve allowed the opposition to do a bit too much. That means, with our attack, we’ll get a lot of chances, and we’ll get them against England too. In a knockout game though, it will be important to be solid at the back so we can keep a clean sheet. So far, we’ve been lacking in that respect, but the good thing is that we now have a chance to try again.
Is it an incentive to make our own piece of history at Wembley? Yes, of course it is. Some of the Bayern players have already made history at Wembley [beating Borussia Dortmund in the 2013 UEFA Champions League final]. Now we have the opportunity to do so with the current [Germany] squad, so it’s time for us to write a new chapter.
England haven’t played attacking football so far and haven’t scored many goals, but nevertheless they deserved to go through as group winners. They’ve shown solid performances in defence. They are always dangerous going forward and at set pieces. They have quick players up front, players who are good one-on-one, and a good centre-forward in Harry Kane. So we have to be careful and be switched on at all times. If we can get our defence under control, England will have their own problems, and it might be an open game.