Neuer: Path to stardom
FC Bayern München and Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer (r.) has been named on the three-man shortlist for this year's Ballon d'Or prize, FIFA has announced.
Living down the road in Gelsenkirchen-Buer, Neuer (front, 4th r.) was just shy of his fifth birthday when he first joined hometown club FC Schalke 04's Bambinis programme
Making waves for club and country, he (front, 3rd r.) received the German FA's (DFB) inaugural Fritz-Walter silver medal in the U-19 category in 2005
Neuer (l.) took his Bundesliga bow on 19 August 2006, keeping a clean sheet in a 1-0 win at Alemannia Aachen
Schalke's rising star made his his international debut for Germany against United Arab Emirates on 2 June 2009...
… before helping the U21s to the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship with a clean sheet in the 4–0 win over England in the final
Neuer travelled to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa as Germany's No.1, playing his part in this infamous contest with England that reignited the goal line technology debate.
The German shotstopper capped 20 years on the books of Schalke with victory in the DFB Cup final in May 2011...
… having made the decision to join record German champions FC Bayern München later that summer. In his first season at the Allianz Arena, he conceded just 22 goals in 34 league outings
The man who counts Jens Lehmann as his role model scored one and saved a penalty in the 2012 UEFA Champions League
Neuer bounced back in style in 2012/13, helping Bayern become the first club in the history of the German game to win a Bundesliga, DFB Cup and Champions League treble
The beer showers continued a year later as Neuer picked up successive Bundesliga...
… and DFB Cup winners' medals in Pep Guardiola's first season at the helm
Bayern's inimitable goalkeeper coined the term 'sweeper keeper' as Germany booked their place in the final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil
The 28-year-old's performances earned him the Adidas Golden Glove, awarded to the best goalkeeper in the tournament...
… before lifting football's ultimate prize towards the night sky at Rio's Maracana to cap a year of unparalleled highs