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Ter Stegen during the interview with fcbarcelona.com / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

Ter Stegen, face à l'APOEL / Photo Miguel Ruiz

[[DES_1]] Marc-André ter Stegen was one of the first new faces at Barça for the 2014/15 season. With the season having reached the half way point, the German keeper talks to fcbacelona.com about how he is settling in at the club, his own particular style of play and the number 1 spot in between the posts at the Club.

You move to Barça was made official in May and in July you started preseason. That was seven months ago now, so how have you settled in at the club?

“Yes, everything’s a little different than in Mönchengladbach; both the team and the circumstances, but people have seen how I play and what I do. I think everything’s going pretty well.”

For you the language was a key issue. How is your Spanish and Catalan?

“I’m doing lots of hours of Spanish class,but it’s tough to hold a conversation because a lot of people use Catalan, which is a very difficult language. When people speak I can follow the conversation, but if they speak directly to me it’s much more difficult. But anyway, I'm happy with how things are going and I’m going to step things up heading into the summer.”

How have you settled into the dressing room?

“I don’t know. So far I think the team’s comfortable with me.It definitely needs time. At first people didn’t know how I played and the team didn’t really know me very much. I think we keep playing better and we’re growing together as a team.”

Amongst your qualities, your ability with the ball at your feet is what stands out with both your right and left foot.

“Ever since I was a kid I’ve tried to play that way and I train hard to work on ball control. That’s my game, I’ve always said it. A lot of people might be surprised to see how I play.”

Are you two-footed?

“Yes”.

How do you decide to play with one foot or the other?

“It depends on the situation. There are lots of things that can have an impact. Being able to play with my right or left foot helps me a lot playing here. It’s clear that not every pass is great, but the idea is to solve a given situation in the game.”

Being able to play with my right or left foot helps me a lot playing here

Did your time as an outfield player when you started playing help you in that aspect?

“That was a long time ago, but I think it helped in my early days as a goalkeeper. Maybe now I see game situations differently than if I hadn’t been an outfield player.”

You seem a very relaxed person as criticism or praise does not seem to affect you. Is this true?

“I don’t dwell too much on whether I receive criticism or praise. For me it’s important to look at the games, regardless of whether I’ve played well or not. In the end what matters is feeling. I put a lot of stock into what people close to me say and who look at my games such as goalkeeping coach De la Fuente so I can draw my own conclusions.”

The team is performing spectacularly in defence, what is the secret to its success?

“I think it’s about how well we set up. We play way up, we’re quick to put on pressure and we try to do it as a unit, including the goalkeeper. I think that’s our formula and it’s worked, even though we gave up two goals against Atlético. We’ve also shown that we can be tough on defence if necessary. I think if we keep playing well defensively, we have a shot at succeeding in all three competitions.”

Up until now Claudio Bravo has been the number one choice in the league and you in the Champions League and the Cup. What do you make of that?

“It’s a tough situation. I've always given 100% and that still remains my goal.
Bravo is doing a great job in the league and that’s a decision that has to be respected, but I'm going to keep trying.”

I've always given 100% and that still remains my goal

During your time here, you will have seen how terrible everything is when you lose and how brilliant when you win. Does everything get taken to these extremes in Germany?

“Definitely. I’ve never seen a single game judged based on half measures. You either play well or you don’t. I can get used to this situation. That’s the way it is here. I draw my own conclusions about the games I play in.”

Tell me about Barça’s chances in the league, Champions League and the Spanish Cup.

“We have to stay focused. In the league we hope Madrid stumble, which they surely will do. To stay in the title race we have to keep winning our games. In the Spanish Cup and the Champions League, luck certainly is a factor; we have to make our own luck. And we’re trying.”

You have two tough ties coming up against Villarreal and Manchester City. How do you approach those games?

“I think we have a shot. We just have to keep doing what we do every day. If we play good football and are solid on defence, we’ll have a good opportunity to get past Villarreal and Manchester City.”

[[BOTOGRIS::Check out all the info on Ter Stegen++::http://www.fcbarcelona.com/football/first-team/staff/players/ter-stegen::HOR::NF::NO-TRACKING::::::]]


Ter Stegen: We have a chance in all three... per fcbarcelona

Settling in Barcelona the city

Have you been able to get to know Barcelona?

“I think my family and friends have seen more than I have. I've only been able to do a little bit of exploring. My family and friends love coming into town. They know more about it than me.”

Have you been to the beach?

I've been to the beach but I haven’t been in the water. I’ve been there with my dog.

Have you discovered a particular dish that you like in particular?

“I need to think about it. There are plenty of things I like that I’ve never tried. Now that I’ve been here a little while I can say that I like shellfish, fish and any seafood, really. It’s served fresh here, which doesn’t happen in Germany.”

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