Despite the 36-year-old officially retiring at the end of last season, he has continued to work and train with the Bayern squad throughout pre-season, and even played during the club’s tour of Asia during Neuer’s previous absence.
UEFA rules dictate that goalkeepers can be added to or removed from a squad during the group stage of the Champions League, unlike outfield players. The Bavarians have therefore decided it is best to restore their full complement of three goalkeepers with the inclusion of Starke, who joins Sven Ulreich and Christian Früchtl as eligible shot-stoppers, including for Wednesday’s match against Paris Saint-Germain.
TOM STARKE!— FC Bayern US (@FCBayernUS) May 1, 2017
Matches: ⚽ ⚽ ⚽ ⚽ ⚽⚽⚽
Bundesliga: 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆
Pokal: 🏆 🏆 🏆
DFL Supercup: 🏆 🏆
UEFA Super Cup: 🏆
FIFA Club World Cup: 🏆 pic.twitter.com/arrrPvG0ya
Starke spent five years with Bayern as a player, making just 10 appearances as back-up to Neuer. Since retiring last season, Starke has been in charge of goalkeeping at the new FC Bayern Campus, but has now re-joined the first-team on a regular basis since the injury to Neuer. Head coach Carlo Ancelotti has stated, “Tom will be with us until Manuel returns. He’s the third-choice keeper, Christian Früchtl is second.”