The greatest save ever? Manuel Neuer vs Cristiano Ronaldo in 2017

Manuel Neuer is firmly in the mix to be labelled the greatest goalkeeper of all time.

The 2014 World Cup winner, who’s antics on the ball led to the creation of the phrase ‘sweeper keeper’, has been immense between the posts for well over a decade now.

Neuer first burst onto the scene at Schalke, where he helped the team reach the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2010/11 – the same season they won the DFB-Pokal.

The 36-year-old then joined Bayern Munich in the summer of 2011, a move that has seen him achieve legendary status.

Neuer has played 472 games in total for the current champions of Germany and in that time, he’s kept 226 clean sheets, conceded only 370 goals and won 27 trophies.

Those numbers are simply immense and on top of them, Neuer has produced countless highlight moments during his Bayern career.

The volume of world-class saves he has made while wearing the club’s famous jersey is enormous and selecting the very best of them is virtually an impossible task.

Manuel Neuer in a Bayern Munich press conference
MUNICH, GERMANY – DECEMBER 08: Manuel Neuer of FC Bayern München talks to the media during a virtuelle press conference ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A stage match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Lokomotiv Moskva at Bayern Münchens training ground Säbener Strasse on December 08, 2020 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Handout/FC Bayern via Getty Images)

However, there is one that perhaps deserves a place above the rest, as the display of strength from Neuer seemingly defied logic.

We are, of course, talking about his superhuman save on Cristiano Ronaldo in the semi-finals of the 2016/17 Champions League.

In the first leg between Bayern and Real Madrid at the Allianz Arena, Neuer managed to thwart the five-time Ballon d’Or winner from close-range when it looked unfeasible.

Ronaldo fired the ball goalwards with tremendous power from his right peg and the net looked certain to bulge.

But Neuer showed cat-like reflexes to stick out an arm and deflect the ball away from the goal.

To this very day, we’re not sure how Neuer’s outstretched limb didn’t flinch one bit…

Video: Neuer’s insane save on Ronaldo

Fan reaction

Are Neuer’s arms actually made of steel rather than human flesh? After watching that footage for the thousandth time, we’re starting to wonder if that actually is the case.

But while Neuer received universal praise for his incredible save on Ronaldo, it was the Portuguese superstar who had the last laugh.

The 37-year-old scored twice to secure a 2-1 win for Real Madrid at the Allianz, before bagging a hat-trick in the second leg to send Zinedine Zidane’s side to the final – where they beat Juventus 4-1.

Champions League quiz: 20 questions on the all-time records

1 of 20

Which team holds the record for longest unbeaten run in the UCL of 25 games?

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