In the build-up to the game between Olympique Nice and FC Barcelona, Jérémy Mathieu and Marc-André Ter Stegen gave a press conference at the match venue, the Allianz Riviera. The local media was particularly interested in hearing what their compatriot had to say. “It’s always very special to come to France” said Mathieu. “And it’s even nicer to come with a team like Barça. I’m happy to be in France with Barça”.
The defender went on to say that “I’m finding this to be a very ambitious project. I hope to be a success. I’ve only been here a week, but so far I’m very happy.” Now that the training camp in Birmingham is over, he said that the players are very much looking forward to finally getting the opportunity to play a match together this evening.
“I am mentally and physically ready to achieve great things with this team” he continued. “I am confident of my ability and I hope it all goes well. But I have to work to get into the starting line-up”.
Goalkeeper Marc-André Ter Stegen also has to fight for a place, and will face stiff competition from Claudio Bravo and Jordi Masip for the right to defend the FCB goal. “I’ve known them for a week” he commented on his two colleagues. “They’re good people. We’re training well and the most important things is for all three of us to get on with each other”.
“It’s the coach who’ll decide who plays, so there’s nothing I can say” he replied when asked who he thinks will ultimately get the nod. “I just hope I have a good time at Barça. Claudio is a great goalie but I hope I’ll be getting my chances.” The German ended by describing tonight’s game with Nice as “a good test. I am sure we'll enjoy it.”