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Getting to Know: Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen

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Taking a look into the playing career of Barcelona’s No. 1 goalkeeper.

Valencia v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/Soccrates/Getty Images

Full name: Marc-Andre ter Stegen
Squad No: 1
Position: Goalkeeper
Date of birth: 30 April 1992
Place of birth: Mönchengladbach, Germany
Height: 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight: 85 kg (187 lbs)

Club career

Marc-Andre ter Stegen was born in the town of Mönchengladbach, Germany, located near the border with Netherlands. Ter Stegen quickly showed an affinity for football and joined Borussia Mönchengladbach at the age of four. Borussia Mönchengladbach was ter Stegen’s only club before he joined Barcelona. Being a goalkeeper wasn’t always in ter Stegen’s mind as he started his career as a striker, but those plans changed early in his development.

After making the switch to between the uprights - where his running style wasn’t a factor, the youngster moved quickly through the youth ranks and started to make a name for himself as one of the hottest goalkeeping prospects in the world of football. Ter Stegen made his first appearance for a professional team on 9 April 2010, when he appeared for the Borussia Mönchengladbach reserves in the German regional league. Over parts of two seasons ter Stegen appeared in 18 games for the reserve squad, conceding 23 goals with two clean sheets.

Inconsistent performances from Logan Bailly coupled with a minor injury, led to ter Stegen’s first team debut on 4 April 2011, when he was still only eighteen years old. His debut was excellent, resulting in a win and he was named the starter for the remainder of the season, including the relegation playoffs in which Borussia retained their Bundesliga status.

Ter Stegen remained the starter the next season and Borussia’s results improved mightily, which included a Europa League run in the 2012-13 season. Ter Stegen spent three full seasons as the starter for his hometown side, not missing a single Bundesliga game during that stretch, and improved in every one. His consistency in goal was ever improving and he was able to cut down on his mistakes when leaving the line. This caught the eye of numerous top clubs around Europe but Barcelona won the sweepstakes and lured the talented German to Catalonia on 19 May 2014 for a €12 million transfer fee. During his Borussia first team career, ter Stegen played in 127 games in different competitions, allowing 136 goals and keeping his net untouched in 45 of them.

In Barcelona, the young German wasn’t immediately handed the reigns of the club, and didn’t make a single league appearance the entire season. He did, however, lead Barcelona to the Champions League crown as well as the Copa del Rey title. Ter Stegen made his Barcelona debut on 17 September 2014 in the Champions League in a win against APOEL Nicosia.

The balance of power between the two Barcelona goalkeepers remained the same the next season, but ter Stegen was able to make a winning La Liga debut against Atletico Madrid with Claudio Bravo recovering from an injury. That changed in the 2016-17 season with the sale of the Chilean, making ter Stegen the official No. 1 goalkeeper in Barcelona. That has remained the case since then, with ter Stegen only losing playing time in the Copa del Rey where the backup usually plays. During his time in the Catalan capital, ter Stegen cemented himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world and played a key figure in the continued evolution of the goalkeeper becoming a key outfield player. In 224 games for Barcelona, ter Stegen has allowed only 206 goals and kept an impressive 94 clean sheets – numbers that become even more impressive when considering Barcelona’s porous defense in recent years.

International career

On the international stage ter Stegen’s name first appeared with the German U16 team and ter Stegen went on to play for an additional four youth selections, culminating in 2009 when he backstopped the U17 team to a European Championship. Ter Stegen made his full Germany debut in a loss against Switzerland on 26 May 2012. Despite being one of the best goalkeepers in the world, ter Stegen’s international career hasn’t really taken off because of another great goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer. With Neuer’s claim of the No. 1 spot, ter Stegen played 24 games, conceding 25 goals and keeping 9 clean sheets for the senior side, adding to his 50 appearances for the youth selections.

Profile

Widely regarded as one of the top goalkeepers in the world, ter Stegen excels in just about every category a goalkeeper has to – even with the ball at his feet, which is a necessity at Barcelona. Lauded for his lightning-quick reflexes and fantastic shot-stopping abilities, ter Stegen continues to improve his decision-making, which caused him plenty of problems earlier in his career. Making better decisions coming off the line has improved his air game and led to less mistakes with the ball at his feet, though on some rare occasions those mistakes still creep up. Primarily a right-footed player, the German is also very strong with his “weak” foot, making him a terrific asset as a sweeper-keeper.

Honors

Barcelona

· La Liga (4): 2014-15, 2015-16, 2017-18, 2018-19

· Copa del Rey (4): 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18

· Supercopa de España (2): 2016, 2018

· UEFA Champions League (1): 2014-15

· UEFA Super Cup (1): 2015

· FIFA Club World Cup (1): 2015

Germany

· FIFA Confederations Cup (1): 2017

· UEFA European Under-17 Championship (1): 2009

Individual

· Bundesliga Goalkeeper of the Season (1): 2011-12

· UEFA Save of the Season (1): 2014-15

· UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season (2): 2014-15, 2018-19

· FIFA Confederations Cup Final Man of the Match (1): 2017

· UEFA Team of the Year (1): 2018

Contract Status

Ter Stegen’s contract is running out on 30 June 2022, but the German is in contract negotiations with the club over a well-deserved extension. His current buyout clause stands at €180 million.