Schalke’s captain Manuel Neuer slapped by fan

Schalke’s goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer was slapped by a
fan during street celebrations of the team’s victory in the German
Cup final.

Neuer is widely expected to leave for Bundesliga rival Bayern
Munich. Neuer, a local boy, joined Schalke’s ranks in preschool
days and many hometown fans were disappointed with his decision to
leave.

A video apparently shot by a mobile phone and published online
by a German newspaper shows Neuer getting slapped as he bends down
from an open-top car to greet fans lining the streets Sunday to
celebrate Schalke’s 5-0 win over Duisburg in the German Cup
final.

Neuer appears momentarily stunned, but then stands up and
motions to the fleeing fan. He then goes on celebrating with
teammates.

The Germany goalkeeper announced before the end of the
Bundesliga season that he would leave Schalke, either as a free
agent when his contract ends next year, or this summer for a fee.
He could hardly hold back tears as he announced the decision.

Neuer has not specified his destination but Bayern has made a
bid for the 25-year-old goalkeeper.

”The offer from Bayern is there. There is nothing further we
need to discuss with them. We’ll make our decision within a week,”
Schalke’s manager Horst Heldt said.

The victory in the cup final also means a place in next season’s
Europa League and other Schalke officials have expressed the hope
that Neuer would stay for the duration of his contract.

Clemens Toennies, the chairman of Schalke’s board, said he was
”strictly against” Neuer’s departure.

”We would lose our leader,” Toennies said.

Bild newspaper reported that Toennies was willing to offer Neuer
a new four-year deal that would see the goalkeeper paid ?7 million
($9.81 million) a year.

Neuer said the final decision was with Schalke.

”I am not going to put my club under any pressure. Where I play
next season depends on the decision of the management of Schalke,”
Neuer told Kicker magazine.

Coach Ralf Rangnick was also hopeful of keeping his star.

”He has another year on his contract so I think he will be
playing for us next season,” Rangnick said.

But whether the heavily indebted Schalke can resist Bayern’s
offer believed to be somewhere to around ?20 million ($28.5
million) remains to be seen. If he left at the end of his contract,
Schalke would not get a transfer fee.