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.