Neuer is still the world’s best goalkeeper – Lloris

Though the 32-year-old faces criticism in his homeland, the World Cup winner believes he still represents the benchmark that others must reach

Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer remains the world’s best goalkeeper, according to Tottenham and France shot-stopper Hugo Lloris.

The 32-year-old has not looked his usual assured self since coming back from serious injury, with a notable blunder against South Korea in the World Cup hastening Germany’s shock elimination from the competition. He was also culpable as Virgil van Dijk headed home the Netherlands’ opener in a 3-0 Nations League defeat for Joachim Low’s side last weekend.

In the wake of these errors, Neuer faced criticism from Germany legend Lothar Matthaus, who has pushed for Marc-Andre ter Stegen to keep goal instead.

Low defended his goalkeeper, while World Cup-winner Lloris still believes that he is the benchmark that other custodians should aim to reach.

“He's just the best for me, there's no doubt about Manuel Neuer, he's such a fantastic player, he'll prove it again in the future,” he told Sport1, having shared the field with Neuer as France came from behind to beat Germany 2-1 on Monday.

“Judging by all that he has brought Bayern Munich and Germany, this discussion over his form is not fair. It's not easy if you have not played football for nearly a year, he's still on a great level and a great goalie.

“As goalkeepers, we’re always very dependent on the team.”

The high point in Neuer’s career arrived in 2014, when he played a significant role in helping Germany win the World Cup and came third in the Ballon d’Or voting behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Nevertheless, he has collected a glut of titles since turning professional with Schalke, where he made his debut in 2006. After five years in Gelsenkirchen, he moved to FCB, where he has won six Bundesliga crowns and has also won the Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup among a string of other honours. 

Neuer missed out on a Ballon d’Or nomination this year in the wake of his injury-hit campaign, with Alisson, Thibaut Courtois, Jan Oblak and Lloris the four goalkeepers to make the 30-man shortlist.