Ulreich proved more than up to the task of deputising for Neuer last term. - © © gettyimages / Maja Hitij
Ulreich proved more than up to the task of deputising for Neuer last term. - © © gettyimages / Maja Hitij

Sven Ulreich aiming for sizeable share of Bayern Munich outings with Manuel Neuer next term


Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich is keen to be the record champions' No.1-and-a-half next season, and not just Manuel Neuer's understudy.

Ulreich deputised for the injured Neuer for much of last season and his impressive performances earned calls for him to be named in Germany's squad for the World Cup.

The 29-year-old was even voted by Bayern's fans as their player of the season, picking up almost a third of the votes ahead of Joshua Kimmich, James Rodriguez, Thomas Müller and Robert Lewandowski.

WATCH: Neuer's five best Bundesliga saves

Neuer regained fitness in time to hold onto his number one jersey for his country in Russia, however, and he is likely to regain the same status on club level next season. Yet Ulreich does not want to be seen merely as a reserve as he plans on playing a prominent role for Bayern again next season.

"I know what my roles is at Bayern – I'm number two behind the best goalkeeper in the world and I accept that," he told Germany's Bild newspaper. "Otherwise I wouldn't have extended my contract, but I do hope that, in view of my performances, I will get one or two more games than I previously did, even when Manu's fit."

With Bayern once again preparing an assault on three titles next season, Ulreich could find himself called upon quite often as the Bundesliga, UEFA Champions League and DFB Cup fixtures pile up. Bayern could potentially play 53 games between August and May, while Neuer also has four UEFA Nations League matches and two friendlies with Germany to fit into a packed agenda before the turn of the year.

The 32-year-old custodian has nevertheless proven during the World Cup that he has not lost any of his edge, despite spending nearly nine months on the sidelines, and Ulreich is not surprised by his outstanding performances in Russia.

"Absolutely not," he said. "I was working with Manu in training for the last few weeks before he linked up with the national team and he makes up for any lack of match practice with his calmness and experience. I've been watching Manuel really closely, also in Germany's warm-up games, and you can't see any difference in the way he plays.

"Manu plays like he's never been away. This is an ability no other goalkeeper in the world has."

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