Updated on 2/16/2022 5:33 p.m
- Substitute goalkeeper Sven Ulreich also has to replace the injured Manuel Neuer in the Champions League game against Red Bull Salzburg.
- Ulreich’s last appearance in the Champions League was almost four years ago and it was a disaster.
- In the Bundesliga, Ulreich lost the last two games with FC Bayern and conceded six goals.
1,387 days will have passed since his last appearance in the Champions League when Sven Ulreich kept goal in the game against FC Red Bull Salzburg (9 p.m. / DAZN). The big question is: Was this enough time to deal with his trauma?
It was May 1st, 2018, when Ulreich played with FC Bayern in the second leg of the Champions League semifinals at Real Madrid. Manuel Neuer was absent because he had to recover from his metatarsal injury.
In this game, Ulreich made the biggest mistake possible: when the score was 1-1, he failed to catch a harmless back pass from Corentin Tolisso, allowing Real striker Karim Benzema to shove the ball easily into the goal. “Something like this happens maybe once in 100 situations,” Ulreich regretted later in an interview with “sports picture“. The game ended 2-2 – the dream of reaching the final was shattered because Real had won the first leg in Munich 2-1.
Allegedly, Ulreich was in brilliant form at the time and was even considered a possible candidate for the national team at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. It is possible that the mistake against Madrid also ensured that the national coach at the time took Joachim Löw to the World Cup as the third goalkeeper instead of Kevin Trapp.
Nagelsmann misses Manuel Neuer
Ulreich is in goal again on Wednesday because Neuer had an operation on his knee and is likely to be out for a few more weeks. The conditions could be better: Ulreich kept goal in two Bundesliga games this year. Both the game against Borussia Mönchengladbach and the game against VfL Bochum ended in defeat. He conceded a total of six goals.
The 2:4 last Saturday against Bochum was not the fault of the goalkeeper, but rather that of the men in front. “You can’t blame Ulle,” Thomas Müller clarifies. Coach Julian Nagelsmann also says: “Sven did well against Bochum. It certainly wasn’t Sven’s fault that we played like that in Bochum.” Nevertheless, he misses his real number 1 between the posts: “Of course Manu is missing. He’s still the best goalkeeper in the world.”
Ulreich missed promotion with HSV
Ulreich moved from VfB Stuttgart to Munich in the summer of 2015 and has been Manuel Neuer’s back-up ever since. He only spent last season at Hamburger SV in the second division. With his experience, he should play his part in getting promoted to the Bundesliga.
Without success: HSV ended the season in 4th place. Although Ulreich was the regular goalkeeper from his commitment, his performance was only average. His football deficits were particularly noticeable.
In November, in the game against 1. FC Heidenheim, he made a curious mistake when receiving the ball, which led to a goal in the 90th minute. Due to the defeat, HSV lost the lead in the table at the time. “Fast like back then in Madrid”, headlined the “Southgerman newspaper“.
Ulreich’s contract with HSV was actually valid until 2023. However, the club and the player agreed to terminate the contract. One possible reason for this was that the new HSV coach Tim Walter attaches great importance to a goalkeeper who plays along. Ulreich doesn’t fit his profile.
“If you were in the 2nd league, the offers don’t come in excess,” Ulreich said later in an interview with “transfermarkt.de“. “I’ve had two or three requests from clubs where I could play more. But when Bayern asked me, I didn’t have to think long because I had a good time there. I have always been very happy and passionate about my job as No. 2.”
In the case of Ulreich, he prefers “one less return pass”
Ulreich is a good goalkeeper who can shine with strong reflexes on the line. Nevertheless, the footballing weaknesses that have repeatedly led to mistakes will probably accompany him to the end of his career.
Here he differs greatly from Neuer, who almost always finds a solution in terms of football. “You can play Manu in any pressure situation, he’s like a field player on a footballing level,” explains Nagelsmann. Ulreich, on the other hand, could have problems in such situations – and in the worst case concede a goal.
“It may change in certain pressure situations that you sometimes play a back pass less,” explains Nagelsmann. “Nevertheless, at Bayern we have the right, and Ulle does too, to participate in the build-up game and to be an exit player who can sometimes shift balls. I trust Ulle and the defenders to assess the situation correctly .”
In case of doubt, however, he suggests the safe solution to his number 2: “If he decides to play a long ball, that’s no problem either.”
The most important thing should be not to make a mistake in the Champions League games. From Bayern’s point of view, the trauma of Madrid should not be repeated.
- FC Bayern Munich press conference with Thomas Müller and Julian Nagelsmann
- Sportbildbild.de: Ulreich explains: That’s how my mistake against Real came about
- Transfermarkt.de: Ulreich: At Bayern “I didn’t have to think long” – at HSV “a lot wasn’t expected”
- sueddeutsche.de: Fast like back then in Madrid
Lothar Matthäus believes that Dayot Upamecano has not yet arrived at Bayern Munich. The German record national player is hard on the Munich defender. Thumbnail: picture alliance © DAZN