Barcelona's UEFA Champions League visit to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Wednesday night will be an extra-special occasion for goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen, who will face Gladbach for the first time since leaving his childhood club two years ago.
Ter Stegen was born in Mönchengladbach and played for Borussia since he was five years old. He was then the starting keeper in the first team for four seasons before joining the Blaugrana to win a Treble and become one of the world's best goalkeepers. Ter Stegen was adored by the Gladbach fans, and he will receive a very warm welcome from the crowd on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old has been hyping the game on social media already:
Preparing for a very special @ChampionsLeague match! ⚽ #DesireToWin #BorussiaFCB #UCL pic.twitter.com/3Np8KyfhUz— Marc ter Stegen (@mterstegen1) September 26, 2016
And he retweeted a video from his farewell match in 2014, perhaps the most emotional day of his life so far:
When @mterstegen1 left @borussia pic.twitter.com/wpmDjImLqD— Luizitooo (@Luizitooo9) 26 de setembro de 2016
Ter Stegen certainly can't wait to see the Borussia-Park again, but he's a Barcelona player now and is making it clear that he will look to play well and earn a victory with his new club:
"My return to Gladbach has definitely come sooner than expected, and I absolutely cannot wait for it. I had a great time there, and spent my entire career there apart from the last two years. Borussia is my first love and that will always be the case.
“Having to use the away team's changing rooms will be different. But, I'm a professional and I'm only thinking about the game. My teammates and I will do our best to get the three points against difficult opposition.”
When asked about what kind of reception he will get from the Borussia-Park faithful, Ter Stegen hopes the fans will understand his move to Barça and remember his many years of hard work and dedication to Gladbach:
"I think that the fans know just how much I took this club to heart and that I've always given everything for the club. But FC Barcelona was one of the few clubs I just couldn't turn down. I’m sure the Borussia fans can understand the decision that I made."