The National stage in football is one where the stars of many clubs collide, including Barcelona. Across many different European and non-European nations, the teams representing their respective nations are often full of star players from different club sides.
As a result, given the limited spaces, these players compete against one another to have the manager’s faith. Regardless of how crucial they are at club level, it does not always translate directly into their importance within the National team setup.
Such has more or less been the case for German goalkeeper Marc Andre Ter Stegen. A captain for FC Barcelona as well as an undisputed starter, his time for the National team has been rather stunted. Having been with the German team for more than 10 years, he still is not exactly their first choice.
That claim would be more believable when associated with Bayern Munich legend Manuel Neuer. The Bavarian goalkeeper has long been the mainstay in the German National team and continues to have the faith of many around him.
Despite an obvious sporting rivalry between the two as a consequence, Ter Stegen had nothing but words of mutual respect to say.
In a recent interview, as highlighted by Mundo Deportivo, the Barcelona keeper acknowledged his German teammate. Stating that they have shared the same stage for quite a long time now, there is mutual communication and respect between them.
“We were together in the national team for more than ten years, and the relationship is characterized by great mutual respect. Communication and support were always good, and we never had problems between us; we always had a very healthy professional competition.”
He was then asked to address Michael Ballack’s statements as well. The German icon previously said that once Neuer returns from his injury, his spot as Germany’s chosen one is undisputed. To this, Ter Stegen replies:
“The good thing about living outside of Germany is that you don’t hear everything (laughs). Everyone is free to express their opinion. The only thing that matters to me is staying fit and performing well, and that’s how I want to prove my worth.”
During the interview, the Barcelona captain also talked about Ilkay Gundogan and La Liga side Girona. Stating that his German teammate in Barça remains a crucial part of the team, he showered great praise towards him. For Girona, he acknowledged their progress and development as they currently sit top of La Liga.