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Bayern Munich extends goalkeeper Neuer's contract after comeback from injury

Manuel Neuer Bayern Munich Manuel Neuer - The Canadian Press

MUNICH (AP) — Bayern Munich gave goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer a one-year contract extension Tuesday after his successful return from a broken leg.

The new contract is a sign of faith in the 37-year-old Neuer, who returned to action Oct. 28 for Bayern following more than 10 months out after he broke his leg while skiing. The announcement came a day before Bayern plays Copenhagen in the Champions League.

Neuer's contract had been due to expire at the end of the season. The one-year extension ensures he will still be a Bayern player when Germany hosts the European Championship next year and takes him through to the end of the 2024-25 season, when the Champions League final will be played at Bayern's home stadium.

“After my long injury, I’m back in full swing. It’s immense fun for me to be on the pitch with this team,” Neuer said in a club statement. “I’m sure that, together with the fans, we can achieve our big goals in the coming years — and obviously the 2025 Champions League final in Munich is one of them.”

Neuer has played 494 times for Bayern since he joined the club in 2011. Bayern also announced a one-year extension through to 2025 for his longtime backup Sven Ulreich.

Bayern has won five out of six games since Neuer returned, scoring 20 goals and conceding just five. The one blemish on that record was a shock 2-1 German Cup loss to third-tier Saarbruecken on Nov. 1. Coach Thomas Tuchel paid tribute to Neuer on Tuesday, calling his return “crucial” to the team's improvement.

“Manuel has shown since his comeback that he’s not lost any of his ability,” chief executive Jan-Christian Dreesen said.

Bayern goes into Wednesday's game against Copenhagen already qualified for the Champions League knockout stages and on run of 17 consecutive wins in group-stage games. Bayern has gone a record 38 games unbeaten in the group stage since a loss to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.

After defender Matthijs de Ligt returned to individual training Monday following a knee injury, Tuchel indicated he doesn't expect the Dutch center-back to play for Bayern again this year. The team's last game before the winter break in Germany is against Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga on Dec. 20.


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