Germany's Manuel Neuer has pulled off the most saves of the four goalkeepers left at the FIFA World Cup™, but the Schalke shot-stopper is only thinking about a clean sheet in Wednesday's semi-final. Having denied Argentina in Saturday's 4-0 rout in the quarter-finals, Neuer is hoping for another shut-out against Spain on Wednesday with a place in Sunday's Final at Johannesburg's Soccer City at stake.
Neuer has conceded just two goals so far at South Africa 2010, but saved 18 shots, more than Fernando Muslera of Uruguay, who has 15 saves, The Netherlands' Maarten Stekelenburg (13) and Spain captain Iker Casillas (10). Spanish media have even dubbed the 24-year-old from Gelsenkirchen the 'German Casillas'.
"I haven't heard that, but of course it's an honour to be compared to Casillas," said Neuer. "He is an incredibly good goalkeeper who has enjoyed so much success in the past. But I like to play for a zero and it will be the same on Wednesday."
The goals Neuer let in came in the 1-0 group-stage defeat by Serbia and the 4-1 last-16 win over England and he says the credit for Germany's defensive miserliness must be shared with his defence. "It is thanks to some outstanding defending that we have only conceded two goals in the tournament, we can be very happy with that," he said.
Real Madrid's Casillas has also only leaked two goals so far at this tournament and Neuer says the Germans will need a bit of arrogance in Durban on Wednesday. "You have to show the opposition who's boss," said Neuer. "If you manage that, you have already achieved a little something."