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    Bochum's “Bad Boy” and what his wife has to do with it


    For VfL Bochum, it's a matter of survival: the relegation match against Fortuna Düsseldorf is coming up and of all teams, their regular goalkeeper is missing. Why?

    “Without Riemann we're in the relegation zone” is the title of the press release that VfL Bochum sent out unexpectedly on May 20th. The number one is gone, the identification figure from Bochum is not allowed to keep goal in the two games against Fortuna Düsseldorf. How can that be?

    “The reason is irreconcilable differences of opinion on team issues,” says VfL somewhat awkwardly. There are no further details, the club from the Ruhr area says it wants to “work through this situation after the end of the season.” Since then, the rumor mill has been churning. The biggest topic before the two decisive games against the second division team from Düsseldorf is not the sporting competition between the two teams from the west, it is the end of the otherwise undisputed regular goalkeeper and fan favorite.

    A situation that brings back memories of Riemann's misdeeds that were thought to have long been overcome. In the past, arguments with teammates became public, such as the one in 2022, when the goalkeeper is said to have insulted his teammates as “freaks” during VfL training. Read more about it here.

    Riemann’s outbursts are well documented

    His often exuberant nature is no secret, and can be regularly observed live in the stadium – and Riemann himself has spoken openly about his temperament. “Either you love me or you hate me,” said the VfL Bochum goalkeeper in an interview with the club's own medium “VfL Magazin” in 2019. There he also mentioned his wife, who often gives him a dressing down when he slips up again.

    “My moaning came across the wrong way, it was about a completely different action. It doesn't come across well on TV or with the fans – and I can understand that.” And then Riemann reveals a private detail: “For scenes like that, my wife got a hard time again. And rightly so.” If you listen to the goalkeeper, it must have been uncomfortable in the Riemann household even five years later, after the argument that has now led to his dismissal.

    A look at his social media channel shows how important his wife and family are to him. Almost more often than football pictures, snapshots with his wife and son can be seen there: whether on vacation on the beach, for their 7th wedding anniversary in December 2023 or most recently for Valentine's Day. There he describes his Rebecca as “best wife, mother and best friend” and ends the post with the words “I love you”.

    When a Bochum fan shouted abuse from the stands last year, Riemann ran straight over and confronted the provocateur. One reason for his personal involvement: the troublemaker had been hurling abuse at Riemann's family, who were sitting just a few rows away. And also at his kindergarten-age son. Something that clearly drove Riemann mad.

    What drove the 35-year-old to lose his composure before the two most important games of the season remains his secret – and his Rebecca will have already given him the “gloss” he deserves. Manuel Riemann did not take part in team training on Monday and had already cleared out his locker in the changing room. His wife's influence may also play a decisive role in a reconciliation with his VfL, for whom he has played for almost ten years…

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