People & VIPs

National hero Manuel Neuer has bad press

Talk, silence, sing

"Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses" is a somewhat mean Latin phrase which translates as: "If you had kept quiet, you would have remained a philosopher!"

So some people should better shut up, look interested and then nod when others say something clever. For their own good!

Whether our all-in-one brilliant goalkeeper and national team boss Manuel Neuer is able to speak Latin is not clear from his Wikipedia entry. In any case, he seems to be able to speak Croatian. The last time he roared "Lijepa li si", "You are beautiful", during his vacation in Croatia. That's the name of the band's song Thompson, which Neuer sang alongside Bayern Munich goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic in a convivial gathering. The Croatian public prosecutor's office investigated the band in 2003 for incitement of the people. The front singer likes to play with symbols of the fascist Ustascha regime.

Someone recorded the boys club on mobile phone and already there was a lot of bad press for poor "Manu".

Well, the thing about political correctness is that when you are in the public eye, it's one of those things. And somehow it's difficult to evaluate what's happening with Neuer now, because many media agree: "He didn't understand the problem", Spiegel online says.

Neuer has neither said that he is right nor that he is not.  Maybe Neuer is simply apolitical, like other guys who get a kick out of the ballroom, sing something along because the other guys at the beer stand do the same, and the waitress can be happy if she is not allowed to listen to remarks about her "tits" in any language besides the crooked sounds.

Manu has to pull himself together enough for Germany and can't drink up the weekends like other boys of his age, who are enrolled in philosophy or pedagogy at the university of Bochum until their mid-30s.

Manu is now narrow-lipped, he wants to concentrate on his work, "what I am here for".

This throws men's soccer back on what it stands for as a man's work: sporty boys who know how to chase a ball over the green and otherwise don't do much for society except buy fat cars!

With Neuer the reproach does not apply. Already in 2010 he founded his own foundation "Manuel Neuer Kids Foundation", with which he supports, among other things, a project of the Catholic city church of Gelsenkirchen against child poverty.

Cynics can dismiss his social commitment as a tax depreciation model. But perhaps Neuer simply has a good heart and thinks it is bad that some children are exposed to poverty.

However, the reporting about Neuer seems unfair. Why?

A small example: there was no bad press when FDP party leader Christian Lindner and his much younger new girlfriend showed up at the Bayreuth Festival to mime the cultural attaché on the red carpet. Nobody from the Spiegel asked whether Lindner could be anti-Semitic, because the composer Richard Wagner, in whose legacy the Bayreuth Festival is held, once wrote an essay entitled "Judaism in Music". By today's standards anything but "politically correct".

Neuer, according to Wikipedia "Catholic", recently changed wife Nina for a much younger version of the bride and groom.

Cynics might say: Manuel Neuer has let success go to his head and needs a younger one to adore him. But perhaps Neuer really is totally right-wing and reactionary. Perhaps he often argued with Nina over politics at dinner. Maybe his new and old fit together much better, have more intersections politically, hiss a beer together in the evening and warble along to songs of right-wing extremist bands!

Maybe in a few weeks, if the negative reporting doesn't subside, Neuer will say something like: "I don't know enough about the Balkan conflict. I'm learning and I regret that singing along to a song without any need for any reason gave the impression that I approve of folk thinking!“

Whether Neuer then thought up these lines himself, or a press man will have prescribed these lines for him, we will probably not find out then.

Style PASS online recommends:

Manu, keep the box clean for the Germans, out of national pride sing the German national anthem before every game from the bottom of your heart, because after all Germany has a lot to offer that its citizens can be proud of: Freedom of the press, minimum social standards, and fans with money to buy, who will secure your income to finance your next vacation in Croatia!

It commented: Style PASS editor Eva Britsch

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