“In fact, we are only allowed to go to the stadium, the training ground and the homeland,” the German international guard told CNN Sport in an exclusive interview, as Neuer reflected on how a global pandemic has changed Germany.
“We need to move away socially with planes and buses,” Neuer added. “We sit at single tables during meals and wear masks all the time until we start eating.
“All hygiene measures are performed continuously until you get home. Even then we are not allowed to shop for groceries or go to a restaurant.”
“You get used to everything”
Being the final professional, the winner of the World Cup sees no reason to complain.
“It’s definitely an extra effort,” he shrugs before adding, “You’re used to everything.”
“Everywhere in the world, people have to adapt, and that affects our work – playing football.”
Being the first major European league to continue playing means all eyes were on the Bundesliga last month. Bayern have adapted smoothly and could win the Bundesliga title on Tuesday.
“There will always be critics,” Neuer said. “If we hadn’t started by now, they would have asked why we weren’t starting.
“I have to say that from the beginning the players have handled the situation in an exemplary way and we hope that it will continue like this.
“I think our championship – also because we were the first [to resume] – It will be a positive example for other European leagues, and you hope that they can put it into practice. “
The English Premier League starts again on June 17, although several top players have expressed their concerns.
In particular, Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero and Tottenham’s Danny Rose challenged the restart before returning to training.
However, Neuer believes that the way the Bundesliga handled the situation could send a message of hope to all the club’s employees who are worried about their own well-being and the well-being of their families.
If playing without fans is not ideal, Neuer has tried to see the pros of Geisterspiele (ghost games).
“It would be good advice to communicate a lot on the pitch and help each other. There’s a lot you can only gain by talking to each other.
“It’s a huge advantage that you can really communicate and understand every word [on the pitch]”
This is the biggest picture, says Neuer, who knows that more is at stake than his desire to play football.
“It’s not just that we want to play, it’s our job. The work within the clubs and their existence depends on us.
“We know everything depends on us and we are trying to implement it [the rules] so that the ball can continue to roll. “
“We are delighted that the Champions League will return and we will start as it comes. Everyone wants to play this tournament,” said Neuer, who would like to add another European Cup winner to the trophy cabinet.
Asked about teams like Lyon or Paris Saint-Germain that have an advantage after the cancellation of Ligue1, Neuer just hugs.
“They will not have much free time. They may have gone on vacation, if possible, but they will have to train.
“Others, such as the Premier League or Serie A, will have to keep playing all the time, which could also be considered a disadvantage.
Bayern beat Chelsea 3-0 at Stamford Bridge in the first phase of the 16th game and Neuer is convinced that the Bundesliga team will succeed, because the pressure under that is what makes teams like Bayern Munich stand out.
“Contribution to an era”
Neuer is equally excited about Bayern’s prospect of winning an eighth consecutive league title. Bayern could win the title on Tuesday if the Bavarian club wins at Werder Bremen.
For Neuer, who has won the previous seven titles, the number eight will still be special.
“It simply came to our notice then.
“If you can continue to expand the record that started with greats like Phillip Lahm or Bastian Schweinsteiger and keep up with all the new players involved, it looks like you’ve contributed at one time.”
If Neuer has filled many pages in football history books, he is willing to write another one at this really great time in world history.
To succeed now, he believes he will defy the critics of the restart and give hope to millions struggling during this global crisis. It’s exactly the same for Neuer, trying to protect Bayern’s goal, regardless of the obstacles that fall.
“I did it at the age of 20 and I will continue at 34,” he says simply.