Bayern Munich have reportedly sacked their goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic, who is a close friend of the club’s legendary goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
42-year-old Tapalovic has worked at Bayern since 2011 and was Neuer’s best man at his wedding.
Many have credited him for developing the German goalkeeper into one of the best in the world.
However, Tapalovic’s close relationship with Neuer was ultimately a big reason behind him losing his job.
According to German news outlet Bild, Neuer and Tapalovic’s relationship has led to ‘leaks’ in the dressing room.
It has been reported that Bayern boss Julian Naglesmann has been getting frustrated with Tapalovic since last season after finding out that conversations between the coaching staff were being relayed by the coach to Neuer.
The Bavarian club’s director, Hasan Salihamidzic said: “As our goalkeeping coach, Toni was involved in the successes of recent years. We would like to thank him for that.
“Differences, particularly over the way we worked together, have now led to us going our separate ways. We wish Toni Tapalovic all the best for the future.”
Neuer also paid tribute to Tapalovic on social media after his departure was confirmed.
He wrote: “Dear Toni, today is the end of an era at FC Bayern Munich. With you after 11.5 years, not only an absolute pioneer of the modern goalkeeping game but above all a great person is leaving the club.
“Everyone, not only in Munich, knows that all these achievements would never have been possible without you! Last but not least, you shaped and lifted me and my goalkeeping game to a new level. I will miss you!”
Neuer’s 22/23 campaign ended abruptly after he broke his leg on holiday whilst skiing on the back of Germany’s disappointing World Cup tournament in Qatar.
At the age of 37, Neuer is still regarded as one of the best in the world, but Bayern chief Oliver Kahn has stated that his status at the club will not last forever.
Kahn said: “We know Manuel, he will give everything to get back in top form. And a Manuel Neuer in top form is still absolutely world-class.
“We hope that this rehabilitation period will be without complications. But football is a short-term business, we have to think about the here and now.”
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