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Being third in the list of appearances by an FC Barcelona goalkeeper is no mean feat, but that is what Ter Stegen has done. And along the way he has produced some moments that are already a part of club folklore. He took some time out talk us through some of the best 👇🏻
Munich magic tops the list
Ter Stegen arrived from Moenchengladbach for the 2014/15 season, and played a key role in the conquest of the Champions League in his first campaign here. In the semi-final against Bayern Munich he made one of his most famous saves of all, and against none other than Robert Lewandowski, now his team-mate. "The only thing I thought about the time was getting the ball of the line" says the German, who adds that he has never spoken to the Pole about that day and imagines it's something Lewy would rather not talk about! Barça went on to win the final against Juventus, but if hadn't been for that save, the Germans may well have been there in their place.
The importance of being warmed up
Another memorable moment for the Barça number one happened at the Santiago Bernabéu. That game in 2017 is best remembered for Leo Messi's late winner, not to mention his iconic post-match celebration, but Ter Stegen made a contribution to the win that was no less important. His block of a Benzema chance resembled more the kind of thing that a handball keeper would do, and he tells us that the main reason it came off is because he had been nicely warmed up for it by a few less challenging shots earlier on in the game.
He makes it very clear that it is always important for a goalkeeper to get warmed up that way, rather than being caught cold, as can happen when your team is dominating the play. And he is a man who knows these things, as is apparent as he describes for us in detail how he made such essential interventions as those against Lyon in the Champions League of 2018/19 and Sevilla in La Liga 2018/19.
Last season was an especially impressive one for Ter Stegen, in which he and his defence rewrote the history books with their astounding ability to prevent teams from scoring against them. It's fascinating to hear the man himself describe the intricacies of smart positioning, knowing when to commit and when to wait, and the importance of being able to make yourself big. It's an interview in which we really get to see how a goalkeeper's mind works, and how there is so much more to it than simply being athletic and flexible. Enjoy the video, and enjoy Ter Stegen!
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