Munich - FC Bayern München goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has been named 2014 European Athlete of the Year and 2014 World Athlete of the Year.
'A lasting impression'
The 29-year-old received the awards, which are handed out by the European association of sports journalists (UEPS) and their global counterparts (AIPS), at the Bundesliga champions' Säbener Straße complex on Wednesday afternoon.
"I’m very grateful for being chosen for these awards, but I couldn’t have done it without my team-mates," said Neuer, who beat tennis stars Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic to the European accolade.
Indeed, the 2014 world champion is only the third footballer after Michel Platini (1984) and Lothar Matthäus (1990) to win the continental prize since its inception in 1983. The Germany international custodian beat Real Madrid CF star and 2014 Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo to the World Athlete award.
"Those who saw him play in the World Cup were left with a lasting impression," said UEPS president Yannis Daras, who attended the presentation on Wednesday. "His nomination for this award comes as a result of his incredible performances, the way he conducts himself on the pitch and how he interacts with the media."