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Barcelona keeper hits back at German legend after comparisions with Neuer: “Free to express”

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Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Germany started the international with a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Turkey, which is not the best of results for new coach Julian Nagelsmann.

Barcelona players Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Ilkay Gundogan were also involved in the game and received a fair share of flak.

In the case of ter Stegen, in particular, former German footballer Michael Ballack even went on to claim that Manuel Neuer should become Germany’s number one once he returns to full fitness.

Ter Stegen’s response to Ballack

After the game, ter Stegen issued a response to Ballack’s comments, stating (h/t Mundo Deportivo), “This is the nice thing when you play outside Germany, which is that you don’t hear everything.”

But he added that everyone is free to express their own opinion. “Everyone is free to express their opinion. All that matters to me is that I am fit and performing well, and this is the only way I want to prove myself,” he said.

Ter Stegen on Manuel Neuer

Ter Stegen later went on to talk about Neuer, expressing great respect for the Bayern Munich legend, who has been struggling with injuries lately.

The Neuer vs Ter Stegen debate continues (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

“We were in the national team together for more than ten years, and the relationship is characterized by great respect for each other,” he said when asked about his relationship with Neuer.

“Communication and support were always good and we never had any problems with each other and we always had very good competition at the professional level,” he added.

Ter Stegen on Barcelona

Finally, Marc-Andre ter Stegen talked about Barcelona and how the season is panning out so far, expressing his delight at Camp Nou.

“I feel very comfortable in Barcelona. Barcelona is beautiful and people treat me and my family with great respect, and this makes me feel that I am in the right place and I made the right decisions in the past,” he said.

Talking about his training mechanism in Catalonia, the German added, “In Barcelona, I use tennis balls a lot in training. They help me improve certain movements and improve my reaction.”

The goalkeeper continued by praising Barcelona teammate Ilkay Gundogan, who has been appointed as the captain of the German national team.

“Ilkay is very important to us. He gives us a lot of peace of mind because of his experience,” he said.

Lastly, the former Gladbach waxed lyrical on Catalan outfit Girona, who are currently leading the league table following an extraordinary start to the season.

“I take my hat off to what Girona has done in the past three years. I admire the calm and conviction with which they walk,” ter Stegen said.

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