Barcelona’s guardian angel in goal, Marc-Andre ter Stegen has been one of the major contributors to the club’s success in recent times.
Last season, the German enjoyed a fantastic redemption arc, clinching the Zamora Trophy and conceding the fewest goals in the league.
Now, his string of strong performances is enabling him to find regularity with the German National Team, where he has spent a large portion of his career playing second fiddle to the legendary Manuel Neuer.
Ter Stegen aims to maintain his status
Speaking to the press ahead of the international friendly against Japan, Ter Stegen insisted that he wishes to find continuity as the first-choice keeper for Germany, with Neuer having been sidelined with an injury for a while now.
“Yes, I am number one. I have been waiting for this moment for a long time. I will do everything possible to maintain the status,” he remarked (h/t Mundo Deportivo).
“In 2017 or 2018, Neuer was clearly number one, [but now] the situation has changed,” he added.
With next summer’s Euro set to be held in Germany, Ter Stegen will be looking forward to retaining his crown as the starter.
Although Ter Stegen made his desire to be a regular starter clear, he took the opportunity to support Neuer’s comeback and simply focused on elevating his rank within the squad.
“I don’t know what phase of his career Manu is in. After such a serious injury, the most important thing is that he returns to the playing field. I hope he enjoys football again. I can’t influence these issues. I can’t and don’t want to spend energy on this.
“I can’t tell the coach what to do. My attention is focused on what I can show in the next two games,” he expressed.
Ter Stegen is one of Xavi’s untouchable players
The goalkeeper recently extended his contract with Barça, and is deemed an essential figure in Xavi’s team.
Having fared spectacularly between the sticks last season and playing a major role in Barcelona’s first phase distribution, his role is immensely valued by the manager.
Now, Ter Stegen aims to replicate his club status on an international level too.