Sven Ulreich: “When you’re needed, you have to be there”
Since the beginning of this season, Sven Ulreich has been back in goal as number 1. With Manuel Neuer sidelined due to an ongoing injury, “Ulle” is currently guarding the goal for FC Bayern Munich. Ordinarily, he has to settle for being the number 2 behind Neuer, a situation to which he initially had to acclimate.
“At the beginning, of course, it took some getting used to, but over the years I’ve really settled in.”
Before his transfer to the record-holding German champions, Ulle spent seven years with VfB Stuttgart – five of those as the number 1 goalkeeper. He describes the role of the number 2 goalkeeper as “special”.
“Obviously, when you’re needed, you have to be there.”
And Sven Ulreich is consistently reliable – always ready to step in. He previously stodd in for the injured Manuel Neuer during the 2017/18 season, playing 47 matches for Bayern across all competitions, and keeping clean sheets in 17 of these. Overall, Ulreich has made more than 90 appearances for FCB. This season, once again, Ulle proves indispensable, stepping up when needed. In his six Bundesliga games so far, he’s conceded just six goals. That makes him part of the second-best defense in the Bundesliga. Despite personal ups and downs, including extended spells without game time, Ulreich has never suffered from a lack of motivation.”
“Lack of motivation? I never have that. I want to win the games in training and do a good job as a goalkeeper.”
The current gloves of Sven Ulreich you can find here: POWERLINE Goalkeeper Gloves Collection 23/24 | uhlsport Goalkeeper Shop
Ulle also gives this advice to aspiring goalkeepers: He recommends staying relaxed instead of putting too much pressure on yourself. Nonetheless, one should never lose sight of their objectives, even during challenging times. even if things aren’t going so well at the moment.
“If your goal is to get to the top, then you have to keep at it and keep working on yourself.”
Ulle believes that it is extremely important for goalkeepers in general to keep a clear head and be mentally strong.
“Mental strength has another role in goalkeeping than with field players, because for 90 minutes no shot can come towards you and in the 90th or 91st minute one comes and then you have to be there.”
Ulle also aspires to return to the spotlight — on Europe’s grandest stage. Ulreich has already experienced the euphoria of a Champions League triumph, having clinched the trophy with FC Bayern during the 2019/20 season. Sitting on the bench for 90 minutes did little to dampen his spirits; what troubled him more was the empty stadium. The absence of fans, a precaution due to the pandemic, profoundly affected him.
“I would like to experience another Champions League final and this time, celebrate the win with our fans.”
Whether he will achieve this goal remains to be seen. We keep our fingers crossed for him.