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Kimmich faults Hoeness over Germany’s goalkeeping spot feud

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Bayern Munich’s German midfielder Joshua Kimmich plays the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group B football match between FC Bayern Munich and Red Star Belgrade (Crvena Zvezda) in Munich, southern Germany, on September 18, 2019. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

Joshua Kimmich has defended Marc-Andre ter Stegen and the German Football Association (DFB) from Uli Hoeness’ criticism but insists Manuel Neuer is right to be considered the national team’s number one.

Bayern Munich president Hoeness hit out at the federation for a perceived failure to support 2014 World Cup winner Neuer in the debate over Germany’s goalkeeper spot.

Neuer’s nearest positional rival, Barcelona’s Ter Stegen, had expressed frustration with a lack of international opportunities, which prompted a public exchange between the pair.

The Bayern star sought to quell the tension last week and club team-mate Kimmich joined him in smoothing over relations as he sympathised with Ter Stegen.

“There was nothing bad about what Marc said,” Kimmich told German broadcaster ZDF.

“He didn’t attack Manuel or anyone else, he just said he was disappointed. I can understand that. I don’t know what he was told or promised.

“There is no question about who is in goal, Manuel is rightly the number one, although Marc has delivered world-class performances for many years. Healthy competition is a good thing.”

Neuer regained his place for Germany at last year’s World Cup in Russia after missing almost the entire 2017-18 season because of a recurring foot injury.

The 33-year-old has since started each of Die Mannschaft’s six games in 2019 and performed well in Bayern’s comfortable 4-0 Bundesliga victory over Cologne on Saturday.

“I think the DFB and especially our coach, Joachim Low, stuck by Manuel during a difficult phase,” Kimmich said.

“He was injured for a long time and still stood in goal at the World Cup. From a DFB perspective, Manuel was always the clear number one.”


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