Bayern Munich-signed Chinese teen goalkeeper Liu Shaoziyang says he admires Neuer’s leadership, improvisation on pitch
Published: Jan 08, 2023 09:35 PM
Liu Shaoziyang Photo: Du Qiongfang/Global Times

Liu Shaoziyang Photo: Du Qiongfang/Global Times

Bayern Munich's 19-year-old Chinese goalkeeper Liu Shaoziyang has been working hard toward the goal of learning from his role model Manuel Neuer. In an interview with the Global Times on Sunday, the young talent shared his experience and feelings of growing up to become a professional player and joining overseas clubs.

The teenage goalkeeper from Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province was signed by the Bundesliga giants in December 2021 on a three-and-a-half-year contract. He was then loaned to SK Austria Klagenfurt.

Liu returned China recently to join China's national U-20 training camp. The team is expected to fly to Dubai, the UAE for overseas training on January 15.

"The most important quality that I admire and I need to learn from Manuel Neuer is his leadership both on the field and in the training, as well as the improvisation and judgment on the field," Liu told the Global Times, adding that he studied Neuer's spirit by watching games and during training.

According to Liu, Neuer is like a "king on the field" who can completely dominate the game and handle the situation perfectly.

"His ability to control the game is unparalleled," Liu said.

"We can learn more experience from the predecessors, but compared with them, I think our training methods are more scientific, systematic and comprehensive since the sport is progressing every day," Liu said, noting that experience is also important and he appreciates that he can learn from talk to his predecessors.

In terms of adapting to the training life in an overseas country, Liu said he thinks the first and foremost part in the beginning is the language.

"If you want to integrate into a group and a new environment, it is difficult for you to talk with them, learn from them and live with the people around you without communicating," Liu said.

According to Liu, he spent an entire year learning German in his spare time, three hours a day from every Monday to Friday. Despite some difficulties in the beginning, he learned quickly in the language environment and can now communicate smoothly with his teammates in German.

Liu is the first Chinese male goalkeeper ever signed by a European football club. He has trained in Munich several times and his performance and growth left a great impression on Bayern Munich, Matthias Brosamer, Bayern Munich's head of sports Asia, told the Global Times in a previous interview.

Bayern Munich has a tradition of having the world's greatest goalkeepers on its roster, including Sepp Maier, Oliver Kahn, and current German captain Manuel Neuer.