Munich - As one of the stars of Germany's World Cup winning campaign in Brazil, as well as being a pillar of the FC Bayern München side, is more qualified than most to analyse top-level football.

Speaking exclusively to bundesliga.com ahead of his side's UEFA Champions League fixture with Manchester City on Wednesday, the 28-year-old discusses Bayern's tactics, his views on goalkeeping and what to expect from European competition this season.

bundesliga.com: Manuel Neuer, after winning the World Cup, what was it like returning to everyday life in the Bundesliga and playing for the national team again?

Neuer: It all went very quickly.

bundesliga.com: Many observers say you revolutionised goalkeeping with your displays in Brazil by frequently venturing out of your penalty area..

Neuer:[Laughs] I don’t quite see it the same way. A goalkeeper is a goalkeeper and he isn't a separate part of the team; he has to adapt to the way his side plays. If they push high up the pitch, I have to do that too. It’s not something I invented, I just do whatever helps our team.

bundesliga.com: Former Bayern and Germany keeper Oliver Kahn has described your playing style as “suicidal”…

Neuer: It’s true that I have to take a lot of risks, but again it’s not a one-man show out there. I’m part of the team, just as much as the striker at the other end of the pitch. So it’s for the good of the team that I take risks.

bundesliga.com: Is risk-taking something inherent in your character?

Neuer: That’s the way I play, but I can’t tell the outfield players to adapt themselves to me because I want a bit of excitement. They need to be able to rely on the fact that I’m there if that’s what our tactics demand and they push high up the pitch. Perhaps there’s an underlying message regarding goalkeepers in general there.

bundesliga.com: And what would that be?

Neuer: The message is that goalkeepers are no longer considered as separate entities who just wait for the action to come to them, but that they are team players. That’s how I view myself anyway and I have an instinct to help out that guides me to ask what the team needs in order to play well.

bundesliga.com: So tactics define goalkeeping?

Neuer: The amount of space you get in football keeps getting smaller. If the team is well organised then there should never be more than 40 metres between the backline and the strikers. Behind them is the goalkeeper.

bundesliga.com: Bayern play Manchester City in the Champions League. Who are your main rivals in the competiton this season?

Neuer: One of the things you learn very quickly in the Champions League is to never underestimate any opponent, regardless of who they are. This year it’s good that we’ve got big names in our group - we had a similar situation at the World Cup too. If you kick-off a World Cup against Portugal then it’s a bit like starting off by playing a final. We’ve got Manchester City first, but it won’t be any easier against CSKA Moscow or AS Roma.

bundesliga.com: Have any big tactical changes been made to the team compared to last season? Playing with a three-man back line, for example?

Neuer: We’ve played with a three-man defence and are flexible about it. But before we even talk about systems the most important thing is for the injured players to come back. I don’t just mean Javi Martinez, but also too. It’s vital that and Arjen Robben find their rhythm and also that Thiago comes back. When we have everyone back then it doesn’t matter what system we play.

Manuel Neuer was speaking to Oliver Trust