World Cup: Neuer could provoke repeat of 1982 incident -- Schumacher
- POSTED: 01 Jul 2014 23:46
German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer's habit of charging out of his area could see a repeat of the notorious incident from the 1982 World Cup semi-final between France and Germany, the villain of that match Harald Schumacher said.
BERLIN: German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer's habit of charging out of his area could see a repeat of the notorious incident from the 1982 World Cup semi-final between France and Germany, the villain of that match Harald Schumacher said on Tuesday.
Schumacher acquired the nickname of the 'Butcher of Seville' for his shoulder charge outside his area on Patrick Battiston which left the Frenchman unconscious on the ground, he subsequently lost a couple of teeth, suffered cracked ribs and bruised vertebrae.
On Monday in the 2-1 win in extra-time over Algeria Neuer saved his defence on several occasions by rushing from his area to clear the ball, coming close to bringing down opponents at the same time.
"It's a split second thing," the 60-year-old smartly-dressed Schumacher replied to a question from AFP at a gathering of journalists organised by tabloid daily Bild in Berlin.
"If one looks at yesterday's match and how many times Neuer came out of his goal.....he can always be unlucky and arrive too late and something like what happened (in 1982) can occur."
Schumacher, who was presented to the press as 'a man who knows the French', refuses still to change his version of events in that he did not intend any harm to Battiston and he was just going for the ball, although the Frenchman had already shot at goal by the time the collision occurred.
"This subject comes up with me at every major finals," he said.
"Later I apologised, but only because I did not go to his aid after the incident," added Schumacher, who instead retreated to his goalline and nonchalantly chewed gum waiting to take the goal kick and also taunted French fans.
Schumacher, whose behaviour was held responsible back in Germany of reviving negative opinions of the Germans held over from World War II by the French, praised Neuer for saving the team on several occasions against the feisty Algerians but did not spare the rest of the team.
"Without Neuer it would have been a debacle," said Schumacher.
"For me he is one of the best if not the best goalkeeper at the finals.
"The team has not clicked yet, there is no unity."
However, despite that reservation Schumacher, who caused even greater consternation in German football when he claimed in 1987 in his biography that doping was rife in the Bundesliga and how teams enjoyed the company of prostitutes in pre-season training, still believes the Germans will win.
"I bet on 2-1 for us (the Germans), I believe we are going to beat the French.
"They are dangerous. They have very good players and they are very very difficult to play against but at the end of the day I am German and I bet on Germany."
However, never one for being sentimental Schumacher gave a terse response when asked would it be a special match for him.
"No" he said as he got into a taxi to take him off to the airport.