Bundesliga: Tapalovic-Aus at FC Bayern and the consequences for Neuer

Manuel Neuer (36) will have to do without his buddy Toni Tapalovic (42) at FC Bayern in the future.

Bundesliga: Tapalovic-Aus at FC Bayern and the consequences for Neuer

Manuel Neuer (36) will have to do without his buddy Toni Tapalovic (42) at FC Bayern in the future. Munich surprisingly parted ways with the long-time goalkeeping coach on Monday with immediate effect.

The newcomer, who will be absent until the end of the season due to a broken lower leg, loses an anchor in his daily work with the German record champions. What does that mean for the future of the national goalkeeper in Munich?

What did Tapalovic do at Bayern?

Tapalovic was goalkeeping coach in Munich. When Neuer switched from FC Schalke 04 to FC Bayern in the summer of 2011, he suggested Tapalovic as an assistant coach. From then on, he took care of the goalkeepers. The previous goalkeeper coach Frans Hoek also had to leave as part of the separation from coach Louis van Gaal. Walter Junghans then assisted temporarily. Tapalovic did not have experience at the highest level. "Before that, I worked as a goalkeeper coach for the Schalke youth team," said Tapalovic, who himself hadn't managed to break into the professional game. In the process, he and Neuer got to know each other.

What is the relationship between Tapalovic and Neuer?

The two natives of Gelsenkirchen have known each other since their Schalke days together. They became friends and also spend time together privately. "I don't know if there will be another relationship like this among the goalkeeping coaches in the Bundesliga. One look is often enough and we both understand what is meant," said Tapalovic once about the relationship with Neuer. The national goalkeeper returned the praise. "The goalkeeper I am today is also thanks to Toni Tapalovic. He helped me develop and I was also able to learn a lot from Toni's active time," Neuer noted in 2018.

When the captain of the national team prematurely extended his contract with FC Bayern in May 2020 by two years until the end of June 2023 after long negotiations, he also mentioned his friend. Because it was important to Neuer "to be able to continue working with our goalkeeper coach Toni Tapalovic. Now that this has been clarified, I look to the future with great optimism," announced Neuer at the time.

How did Tapalovic deal with Neuer's competitors?

The goalkeeper training in Munich was tailored to Neuer. With a world-class man between the posts, that's not surprising. "I'm trying to build up the same trust that I have in Manu with the other goalkeepers. It has to be a kind of friendship," Tapalovic once said about himself in a Bayern portrait. The title of the story was: "Toni Tapalovic: The genius behind Manuel Neuer".

Alexander Nübel (26), on loan to AS Monaco, found critical words for Tapalovic a few days ago. "Sure, the two are very good friends, but in the end it's about the goalkeeping coach training the goalkeeper in the best possible way and preparing them for the games," said Nübel on ZDF's "Aktuelle Sportstudio". He would have liked more exchanges with Tapalovic. "During the time I was in Monaco, there wasn't much contact. Before that, we had a normal relationship. I think we could have talked about the situation from time to time."

How did FC Bayern feel about this criticism?

Sports director Hasan Salihamidzic showed understanding for Nübel's comments. "Yes, that should have been the case," Salihamidzic replied on Sunday on TV broadcaster Bild when asked whether Tapalovic should have contacted the loaned Nübel: "We'll talk about that internally." Before FC Bayern signed Yann Sommer (34/Borussia Mönchengladbach) in winter to replace the injured Neuer, there was also an early return campaign for Nübel. His contract in Munich runs until the end of June 2025.

How did Julian Nagelsmann perceive the relationship of trust between Neuer and Tapalovic?

Before the first round final against 1. FC Köln and before the announcement of the separation, the FC Bayern coach was explicitly asked about the long collaboration between Neuer and the goalkeeping coach. "In general, I don't see any problem behind it if people have known each other for ages. Neither in the animal kingdom nor in humans is an intact relationship that you have with another person detrimental to development," said Julian Nagelsmann.

Why did the Munich team separate from Tapalovic?

"In particular, differences about the way we work together have now led to us going our separate ways," said sporting director Salihamidzic. Tapalovic is said not to have been satisfied with his role because he is said to have had skills beyond goalkeeper training under Nagelsmann's predecessor Hansi Flick. At the press conference before the home game against Cologne, the current Bayern coach made a general statement about a possible conflict of interest in the goalkeeper question: "In general, it's always important to have an intact relationship with everyone in your coaching team." In a team, it is also important "that everyone clearly knows their responsibilities."

How did Tapalovic react?

The separation amazed him. "Thank you for 11.5 unforgettable years! After more than a decade, my time at Bayern Munich ends today surprisingly," he wrote on social networks. "I'd like to thank everyone I've met over the past few years and with whom I've had the privilege of working trustingly - great coaches, great players and, above all, great people! I'm very grateful for that and I'll remember all of that forever."

How did the team take the split?

Neuer expressed himself almost touchingly. "With you, after 11.5 years, not only is an absolute pioneer of modern goalkeeping leaving the club, but above all a great person. Everyone, not just in Munich, knows that all this success would never have been possible without you!", wrote Neuer on social networks. Thomas Müller even paid tribute to Tapalovic with a heart at the end of his comment. "Thank you Tapa - it was an honor for me! It was also an absolute success story over the last decade because of you. You indirectly captured one or the other game for us. Take care".

What does the separation mean for Neuer's future in Munich?

The actually irreplaceable goalkeeper loses his reference person. Against the background of the long relationship between the two, the new man, who still has a contract until the summer of 2024, will not like it at all. It is also a sign of the club to separate such a conspiring duo. "Last but not least, you also shaped me and my goalkeeping game and raised it to a new level. I will miss you!" announced Neuer. Tapalovic's successor is open. According to the TV channel Sky and the "Bild" newspaper, Tom Starke (41), goalkeeping coordinator for the Munich youth and also goalkeeping coach for the U19s, will initially take on the tasks.

Tapalovic on Instagram Neuer on Instagram Message FC Bayern Munich Portrait of Tapalovic squad FC Bayern Schedule FC Bayern

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