How about Jens Lehmann?
Lehmann was never that popular in german football, although he had to suffer a lot, too, when he came to Dortmund.
One would rather think he was a player on his own, be never seemed to fit completely into a team.
Thinking of him I rather remember his rivalry with Olli Kahn, who for sure is the best german goallie ever.
I guess offensive players like van Persie or middlefielders like Möller simply make a better rolemodel than goallies who more or less always show that the team has problems in the defense.
So fans can identify with them better.
You will also probably hear much more interviews from them.
On the other hand attackers and midfielders lose their regular berth much quicker than goallies do.
But I don´t think that van Persie was so afraid of Podolski, after all Podolski never managed to establish himself in Munich