Marc-André ter Stegen, the ultra-talented Barcelona goalkeeper that has been having a phenomenal campaign with the Blaugrana on the UEFA Champions League, talked to UEFA.com's Graham Hunter about his life in Catalonia, the chance to play Champions League matches, and his goals for this season. It's really good. Take a look:
UEFA.com: It seems that the form and the confidence and the rhythm of the team is improving. Is that how you see it?
Marc-André ter Stegen: Yes, I think so. We've made progress since the beginning of the season. We had a difficult start, then found some sort of consistency, and I think we have gradually improved, also by performing in the Champions League. Now we find ourselves in a good position. We're in a good position in the league, we're in the final of the cup, and it couldn't get much better than this. It would be nice to keep that going until the end of the season.
UEFA.com: You have come to a new country quite young; what have you learned in your first year?
Ter Stegen: It's a big change to begin with – the team has to gel and blend in the new arrivals. To me, it's a different style of play, so I had to change my game a little bit. I'm glad though that we played a similar style at Gladbach.
It's difficult for me, being in and out of the team and not playing all the games, but that's part of the development of a player and I'm glad I can play in the Champions League and that we're in the Copa del Rey final. That's reward for my work.
UEFA.com: What does it feel like to play in the UEFA Champions League?
Ter Stegen: It's a great feeling. You always associate something with the Champions League anthem – for us players, it's something special. When the anthem sounds I know it's time for the Champions League and I get goosebumps.
UEFA.com: What do you think of your new home city?
Ter Stegen: That was a big change too, coming from Monchengladbach to a big city. It's my first time away from home, and yes, it's been a big change with a different culture. It's something completely new that I was looking forward to, and with good reason. It's not only the football that is fantastic but also the surroundings.
UEFA.com: This season's final is in Berlin; have you thought how it might be to play it in your home country?
Ter Stegen: Coaches and players alike – myself included – don't like to talk too far ahead; it's far too early for that. But if we take it step by step and stay focused, also in the league, then we have a good chance. That's our aim, and we hope to reach and build on it.
UEFA.com: Have you got a sense of how important it is to the club to win this trophy?
Ter Stegen: The Champions League is always special. I believe every player, every fan, every coach wants this trophy. It is unbelievable, and it is one of the greatest achievements you can have in football. And that is what we fight for every day.