Bayern build up strength to sign goalkeeper Neuer and defender Rafinha

09:15, June 02, 2011      

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German international and Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, 25, joined the Bundesliga record champions Bayern Munich on a five year contract whereas Genoa defender Rafinha, 25, also joined the German giants on a three- year contract, the club said on Wednesday.

Bayern Munich reinforce their squad for the upcoming season 2011-2012 with two top players.

"FC Bayern is very happy to have signed Manuel Neuer on long term. He is not only the number of the German national team, but also one of the world's best goalkeeper," Bayern chairman Karl- Heinz Rummenigge said.

Neuer made 156 official matches for Schalke and 18 matches for the German team.

"I'm really looking forward to the great and exciting challenge at FC Bayern. Many colleagues from the national team are now my teammates in Munich, so I will not enter a new territory," Manuel Neuer said.

With 154 goals conceded in 156 Bundesliga games, he has a quota of 0.99 goals per game. This is the best record of all goalkeepers in the league history with at least 100 matches, before Oliver Kahn (1.04).

The other new signing is a Bundesliga returnee with Genoa defender "Rafinha", alias Marcio Rafael Ferreira de Souza who already played for Schalke from 2005 to 2010.

"With Rafinha we have undertaken a skilled and experienced player who gives our defense more stability. We are very happy that we were able to find an agreement with him and Genoa to transfer to Bayern," sports director Christian Nerlinger said.

Marcio Rafael Ferreira de Souza played from 2005 to 2010 a total of 153 league and 31 European matches for Schalke before he joined last summer into Italian first division to make 34 games for Genoa.

"I am delighted that the transfer has worked out to play again in the German Bundesliga," defender Rafinha said. Therefore defender Phillip Lahm will switch from right to left defense side where he already staged good performances.

"We have discussed this option with our new head coach Jupp Heynckes," Nerlinger added.

In 2005 Rafinha sealed the German Cup with Schalke and finished twice as runners up.

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