HomeSoccerHow important is Marc-Andre ter Stegen to Barcelona?

How important is Marc-Andre ter Stegen to Barcelona?

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Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s future has been a subject of strong speculation for the last few months as the Germany international has been linked with a move away from the Camp Nou.

German giants Bayern Munich seemed to be the next possible destination for Ter Stegen until the Bavarians decided to extend Manuel Neuer’s contract.

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However, according to a Spanish daily, Diario SPORT, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen himself is all set to renew his contract with Barcelona, and appears to be on the verge of extending his stay in Catalonia a bit long.  

Ter Stegen arrived at Barcelona in the summer of 2014 from Borussia Monchengladbach in a transfer fee worth €12 million.

After spending only one season at the club, the German shot-stopper became Barcelona’s first-choice goalkeeper, leaving Claudio Bravo behind.

Since then, he has established himself as an indispensable figure between the Barcelona sticks.

So, without wasting any time, let’s have a look at how important the Germany international has been for Barcelona.

Good with his feet

With time, the role of a goalkeeper in football has evolved a lot.

Long gone are the days when the responsibilities of a goalkeeper were only to keep clean sheets and arrange the defensive line to keep the back-gate closed.

Nowadays, apart from the aforementioned duties, goalkeepers are now burdened with a series of other responsibilities which nobody could have ever imagined even a few years back.

And like all the other modern-day custodians, Ter Stegen is one of the best in his trade when it comes to playing with his feet.

Given the attacking brand of football Barcelona play, Ter Stegen has become the first building block in their possession-dependent philosophy.

Known for his excellent ability to play the ball out of the back, the Barcelona number 1 is blessed with close control and accurate distribution of the ball.

Being highly efficient with the ball at his feet, the 28-year-old always offers Barcelona the advantage of an extra man to counter the opposition press.

Moreover, his composure with the ball under pressure has helped Barcelona immensely to get out of tricky situations on numerous occasions in the past.

The sweeper-keeper

For those who are not accustomed to the very word, a sweeper-keeper is a goalkeeper who likes to stay close to the last line of defence to clear through balls if the need arises.

Although the term was first coined for his German compatriot, Manuel Neuer, Ter Stegen has mastered the art of playing the role of a sweeper-keeper over the last few years.

With his sharp footballing brain and being brave enough to dash off the line, the 28-year-old has saved Barcelona on multiple occasions and has cut out the opposition attacks with his spectacular anticipating skills.

Ter Stegen has the confidence of placing himself just outside the 18-yard-box when his team are attacking so that he can clear any long balls from the oppositions, and more importantly, to defend the large empty spaces behind the last central defender.

At a time when the new generation goalkeepers are blessed with a plethora of skills, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, alongside Manuel Neuer, is still probably the best in business when it comes to sweeping-keeping.

Ter Stegen has truly established himself as one of the most important players in the Barcelona set-up, and to many, the 28-year-old has been the Catalan giants’ most influential player so far this campaign, even ahead of their talismanic club captain Lionel Messi.

Good fundamental goalkeeping technique

Keeping aside all the other modern-day goalkeeping attributes, Ter Stegen is also a tall, agile and physically strong shot-stopper, who is good in one-on-one situations – traits of an old-school goalkeeper.

The German wall of Barcelona is highly regarded for his strong personality and the composure with which he organizes the defensive line. He is also known for his terrific reflexes and excellent shot-stopping ability.

In 220 odd appearances for the Catalan club, Ter Stegen has managed to keep 96 clean sheets, conceding only 208 goals, with goals accepted per game ratio of less than one.

The 28-year-old goalkeeper has already won a total of 13 trophies with Barcelona, including the UEFA Champions League in his debut season at the Camp Nou.

To sum it up, Marc-Andre ter Stegen is a complete goalkeeper with a proper mixture of modern-day attributes and orthodox techniques.

And Barcelona can consider themselves lucky to have someone like him between the posts, with the German coming a long way to be regarded as one of the best in the business.

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