Here are ten things to know about Alexander Nübel, who has just joined the Principality club. Arriving from Bayern Munich, from whom he has joined AS Monaco on a two year loan deal, Alexander Nübel will reinforce a squad which is back in Europe, three years after their last continental adventure. The 24-year-old German goalkeeper arrives in Ligue 1 having played nearly 50 Bundesliga games, and has plenty of good experience with Germany’s youth teams. Here’s a portrait, in ten facts, of the man who will join his compatriot Kevin Volland in the squad for two years with the Rouge et Blanc.
Born and trained in Paderborn
Alexander Nübel hails from the region of North Rhine-Westphalia, where he was born in Paderborn in 1996, the year of the Nationalmannschaft’s third European title. At the time, it was his illustrious elder, Andres Köpke, the former OM goalkeeper, who kept goal for the squad. Nine years later, young Alexander would make his debut in the youth teams of his hometown side, where he would work his way up to the Paderborn reserves, making his debut at just 17 years old.
Compared to Manuel Neuer
DFrom an early age, Alexander has to face comparisons with another German legend: Manuel Neuer. It would be a heavy legacy, even if the similarities between the two men were sometimes marked. Like the Bayern Munich goalkeeper Alexander first impressed at Schalke 04. Like Manuel, he would also be made captain very young (22 years against 20 years for Neuer). And like the 2014 World Champion, he stands 1.93m, and plays in a style very reminisicent of handball goalkeepers.
A nickname that continues the trend
By the way, the comparison doesn’t end there, as Alexander was nicknamed “Manuel” by his Paderborn youth teammates because of his already striking similarities with the great German goalkeeper.
He played as a forward through U14 level
However, before he became a great prospect as a goalkeeper, he started playing as a striker. As curious as it may sound, Alexander Nübel was filling the the net up to the U14 age level, before moving to defend it.
On May 14, 2016, he made his first appearance in the Bundesliga at the very end of the match, playing in his team’s 4-1 victory against Hoffenheim. Subsequently, he made several impeccable displays in Schalke’s goal, with no less than an 80% save rate and only four goals conceded across his first six starts. Solid.
Bundesliga runner-up in 2018
He then quickly became a fixture for the Gelsenkirchen club, becoming the number one ahead of the experienced Ralf Fährmann in January 2019. In the meantime, he played a key part in the remarkable journey of Schalke, who finished Bundesliga runner-up in 2017-2018. Subsequently, he took his responsibilities further in wearing the captain’s armband from the age of 22, while the club was going through a turbulent time in terms of sporting results.
23% clean sheets rate in the Bundesliga
Despite this period of decline on the part of Schalke and the departures of several impressive young players and team stalwarts over the past two years (Kolasinac, Choupo-Moting, Kehrer, Naldo, Höwedes, Goretzka), Alexander recorded no less than 10 clean sheets across 44 starts in the Bundesliga (23%).
A finalist at the 2019 U-21 Euros
In parallel with his club career, the native of Paderborn joined the ranks of the German U-21s in 2017. He has since been capped 17 times with the U21s, and was even a finalist at the Euros in 2019, losing against Spain, and despite this being named the competition’s best goalkeeper.
127,000 fans on Instagram
Like many young players of his generation, Alexander Nübel is present and active on social media — he currently has 127,000 subscribers on his Instagram. It includes photos of him winning the 2021 German title with Bayern Munich, alongside his idol and role model, Manuel Neuer.
79 on PES, 75 on FIFA21
This is information that will primarily interest our friends at AS Monaco Esports. Alexander has a rating of 79 on the football simulation game PES 2021, with a potential of 86. In comparison, he has an overall rating of 75 on FIFA21, with a potential of 80, a bit of notice for our gamer friends.
— AS Monaco 🇲🇨 (@AS_Monaco) June 27, 2021