Neuer: Path to stardom
FC Bayern München and Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer (r.) is widely regarded as one of, if not the best, goalkeepers in world football.
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 three straight Bundesliga titles...
…and a DFB Cup winners' medal with Pep Guardiola's at the helm of the German record titleholders.
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.