Marc-André ter Stegen has been one of Barcelona’s pillars for years now. The German goalkeeper is undoubtedly the club’s no.1 choice between the sticks and only a difficult operation changed that for a while.
It has to be said, however, that his replacement, Neto, has been a pretty reliable substitute all things considered and a couple of blunders aside. But Ter Stegen is now finally back and it was like he never left.
But even for someone of his quality and talent, it will take some time to regain that match sharpness and world-class consistency we know he possesses. The upcoming international break could be the perfect period to do exactly that. According to Bild, Ter Stegen has asked Joachim Löw not to call him up for Germany’s games so that he can focus on his recovery back in Barcelona.
We know that despite his status at the club level, the goalie is second in the pecking order behind Manuel Neuer in Löw’s book. Another reason is just the intensity of training he can do at Barcelona as opposed to the one with his national team.
At the DFB, there are simply too few training units he can use due to a highly congested schedule, Bild inform. So when everything is said and done, staying in Barcelona will help both the club and the country since it will get the goalkeeper back into shape much quicker.
Just as a reminder, Ter Stegen underwent surgery for a patellar tendon injury in his right knee in August and then finally returned to action in the Champions League against Dynamo Kyiv, making a number of crucial saves in the process as well.
Koeman’s press conference ahead of Sevilla clash ends prematurely due to a nosebleed
As Barcelona gear-up to take on Sevilla in gameweek 25 of La Liga, Ronald Koeman sat down to address the media as part of his pre-game press conference. However, his presser was interrupted, and consequently ended prematurely due to a nosebleed the Dutchman suffered while speaking. This is the second time this is happening this season, with the first incident occurring before the Athletic Bilbao game last month. It comes possibly as a result of the blood thinners he takes after suffering from heart problems last year, as has been reported by Javi Miguel.
❗Koeman's press conference came to an end after a nosebleed. This is the second time it's happened this season – the first being in the press conference before the game against Bilbao on January 30. We hope the coach is doing fine.— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) February 26, 2021
Before the presser was halted, Koeman spoke about how the two consecutive games against Sevilla are different from one another, saying “There are two different games. Tomorrow we play for La Liga, and Wednesday for the Copa del Rey. We have to win both games and we hope to continue our unbeaten streak in the league tomorrow.”
As part of merry news, Ronald Araujo has entered the squad list for the first time in five games after suffering an ankle injury against Real Betis. Koeman addressed his inclusion in the presser, saying, “Araújo has entered the list and everyone who enters the list has options to play. We’ll decide our XI tomorrow.”
Koeman clearly holds the young defender in high praise, and complimented him in today’s presser as well, saying, “Araújo has had a very good season so far. He’s young, but he has learned and shown a lot. He has a great physique level, he’s strong and fast, and he brings us many things defensively.”
The topic surrounding Barcelona’s lack of leadership came up yet again, despite there being several veteran players in the side. Koeman singled out Lionel Messi again, while calling for contribution from others: “Veteran players have tried to take control, but they can’t do it alone either. Messi has 17-18 goals, the same as everyone else put together. Responsibility must be shared.”
“I know that being a Barça coach there is always a lot of pressure. If you don’t win, it’s the manager’s mistake. I don’t know what could happen in the future, there is time to talk about that, but I’m optimistic,” Koeman said in regards to how he feels about his future as a Barcelona coach with the elections nearby.
The last thing Koeman talked about was voting in the elections before rushing out of the room. He said, “The elections? I will not vote because I think I don’t have to vote. I have to wait, and the socios will decide.”