Germany goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer will miss the rest of the season after breaking his leg in a skiing accident, just over a week after his side crashed out of Qatar 2022.
The 36-year-old said he had gone on holiday to clear his head after Germany was knocked out of the group stages of the tournament, but he subsequently suffered a fracture to his right leg.
“Hey guys, what can I say, the end of the year could have definitely gone better,” Neuer, who has made 117 appearances for Germany, wrote on Instagram next to a picture of himself in hospital.
“While I was trying to get my head clear while ski touring, I suffered a lower leg fracture. Yesterday’s surgery went well. Many thanks to the doctors.
“However, it hurts to know that the current season is over for me.”
Neuer’s club, Bayern Munich, confirmed its captain had already undergone surgery and that he would miss the remainder of the season.
“He has already undergone a successful operation. Wishing you all the best with your recovery, Manu,” the club tweeted.
Neuer played all three games in Germany’s disappointing World Cup campaign, writing on social media that “the pain and disappointment runs deep” after his side failed to qualify for the knockout rounds.
The Germans beat Costa Rica 4-2 in its last group game but it wasn’t enough as it had lost to Japan and drew with Spain in its two previous matches.
Bayern Munich currently sits four points clear atop the Bundesliga, with games restarting on January 20 after a winter break.
The German powerhouse will also have to face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League round of 16 without its captain.