Bayern Munich fans hold papers that read "No Neuer." (DW.de)
Before Manuel Neuer even joined Bayern Munich from rivals Schalke last summer, a large number of Bayern fans made it explicitly clear that they did not want him. When Schalke visited Munich for a DFB Pokal semifinal last season (a cup Neuer and Schalke would go on to win), thousands of the home fans held up papers that read "Koan Neuer" (No Neuer) in response to reports that the goalkeeper had already agreed to leave his hometown club for Bayern.
When the switch became official, two factions emerged amongst Bayern supporters -- those who would now support Neuer since he was now their starting goalkeeper and those who would be stubborn and protest even more. At a preseason friendly in northern Italy, a group of Bayern fans held up a large, impossible to miss banner that read "No matter how many balls you save, we will never accept you in our shirt." Here's video...
The problem stemmed from an incident where Neuer imitated former Bayern goalkeeper Oliver Kahn's corner flag celebration several years earlier. The fans only agreed to stop publicly hounding him after he personally met with them in July. "If Manuel Neuer agrees to the rules we laid down regarding his conduct and keeps a respectful distance, there will be no further organised protests and actions," said the supporters group after stipulating that their opinion of him had not changed at all.
But now, after saving penalties from Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka to put Bayern Munich in the Champions League final -- a Champions League final they happen to be hosting -- in his first season with the club, Neuer has hopefully made those stubborn protestors feel like idiots.
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- Bayern Munich
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