Playing second fiddle is no problem for Sven Ulreich (l.) at Bayern Munich, when Manuel Neuer (r.) is the man at the top of the pecking order. - © Anke Waelischmiller/Sven Simon via www.imago-images.de/imago images/Sven Simon
Playing second fiddle is no problem for Sven Ulreich (l.) at Bayern Munich, when Manuel Neuer (r.) is the man at the top of the pecking order. - © Anke Waelischmiller/Sven Simon via www.imago-images.de/imago images/Sven Simon
bundesliga

Sven Ulreich: Who is Manuel Neuer's understudy at Bayern Munich?

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Sven Ulreich has proven to be more than just a reliable understudy to Manuel Neuer over recent years. bundesliga.com profiles the Bayern No.2...

Sven Ulreich

Age: 33
Club: Bayern Munich
Position: Goalkeeper
Country: Germany (eight youth caps)

Key stats

Ulreich got his big break at VfB Stuttgart, debuting for the senior side in February 2008. It was the first of 220 competitive apperances the former Germany U21 international made for his boyhood club, where he enjoyed No.1 status for five full seasons between 2010 and 2015. The 6'0" stopper turned out just 10 times across his first two campaigns at new club Bayern, but replaced the injured Neuer for almost all of the 2017/18 campaign. He repelled more than 72 per cent of shots on his goal whilst keeping a career-best 12 single-season clean sheets, and was later voted the record champions' Player of the Year. After a short stint in Bundesliga 2 with Hamburg in 2020/21, the now seven-time Bundesliga winner returned to Bayern following Alexander Nübel's loan move to Monaco and he extended his contract with the record champions by another year at the end of the 2021/22 campaign, to continue as Neuer's trusted understudy for one more season.

Plays a bit like: Bernd Leno

Ulreich is of similar build and level to Germany international Bernd Leno. He's a solid shot-stopper with quick reactions and a strong command of his area. In an another era, those three U21 caps might even have translated into a senior call-up.

Did you know?

According to reports, Neuer is such a fan of Ulreich that he pressed for his return to Munich. Ulreich's subsequent comments about the pair's working relationship show the feeling is mutual.

"Manu and I quicky established that we're on the same wavelength," he told the club's official website. "Manu noticed that I always give everything in training, but don't taunt him, so we quickly got on really well."

What they're saying

"Manu and I called Sven over FaceTime to congratulate him on his new deal. He's a great guy to have in the squad." - teammate Thomas Müller on Ulreich's return to Bayern

"Sven has become one of the Bundesliga's best goalkeepers. He's earned recognition from the players, media and fans." - former Bayern head coach Jupp Heynckes

"Ulreich is a big personality. I'm very satisfied with him." - former Bayern head coach Pep Guardiola