The statement is surprising. "I'm where I wanted to be now," says Alexander Nübel in an interview with the German Press Agency. The goalkeeper would actually prefer to be between the posts at Bayern. But since moving in the summer of 2020, he has only played four competitive games for Munich. He has been on loan to AS Monaco since 2021, and an early return in winter that Bayern and the player had hoped for failed due to the Monegasque veto.
"Monaco made it clear to me early on that they would not let me go under any circumstances," reveals Nübel when asked why the return failed: "That's why the subject of change didn't really come up for me."
But the fact is: Nübel's perspective has improved enormously in recent weeks. Munich's interest and Monaco's veto show appreciation. With Monaco he is well on the way to the Champions League, on Thursday (18.45 / RTL) against Bayer Leverkusen after the 3-2 win in the first leg there is a chance of a place in the round of 16 in the Europa League. And in Munich, the eternal top dog Manuel Neuer got himself into trouble with his skiing accident and his frustration interview after the leave of absence of his confidant Toni Tapalovic as goalkeeping coach. "I currently have a contract with Bayern Munich until 2025 and play as a regular goalkeeper at AS Monaco, one of the most interesting teams in Europe," says Nübel: "To be honest, I'm very happy with that so far."
The separation of Tapalovic or Neuer's interview, which he criticized for lack of contact, does not want to be evaluated in detail by Nübel, who, apart from a much-noticed appearance in the ZDF sports studio, has hardly given any interviews. "Because I don't have any background and I don't like it for myself when outsiders judge me." The message is clear: Just don't make a tactical mistake just before the big goal and cause displeasure in Munich.
Does Tapalovic's move to Michaelrechner increase the likelihood of a move in the summer? "In the end, it's not the goalkeeper coach who decides about me and my future," he says, "but my performance." How things will continue in the summer given the expiring contract in Monaco is still completely open. "I stay focused on the here and now. Everything else just distracts. Our job is hard enough anyway."
The ex-Schalke only gets energetic when he is asked about the criticism of his move to Munich. "With all due respect, most of the critics are completely irrelevant to me," he says: "They neither know me personally, nor can they evaluate my performance in a well-founded manner. Only a few people know the background to the change," he says: "I have I chose this step because I wanted to know how far I could get."
And now he just feels "where I wanted to be". Not in Munich, not yet. But matured and grown, more experienced and currently also successful. And in wait at FC Bayern. He apparently dares a duel at least with Yann Sommer, who Bayern brought in as a new representative. He often talks about his situation with Germany's best tennis player Alexander Zvererv or Nico Hülkenberg, who will be the only German Formula 1 driver in the coming season. Like him, both live in Monte Carlo, you often meet at the German regulars' table, which also includes TV star Robert Geiss.
"Basically, it is always interesting and helpful to deal with other competitive athletes," he says of the exchange with Zverev and Hülkenberg: "You leave your own bubble." The other two are individual athletes and he is a team athlete, but “we goalkeepers are a kind of hybrid. We are individual and team athletes at the same time. So there are a lot in common. One keyword would be the topic of focus, for example. Of course we don’t just talk about sports. There's a lot of laughter and there's actually a sense of home."
Next season he could play at home again. And should it not work out again with the return to Munich? Then Nübel wants to play above all. Perhaps also with a view to the national team, in which Neuer (37), Marc-André ter Stegen (30) and Kevin Trapp (32) are currently the placeholders. "I don't think about it," he insists: "As far as I know, no one has ever talked to the national team." And neither does FC Bayern.
Nübel on the Monaco club website