In a recent interview captured by SportBild, Barcelona and Germany goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen revealed who he thinks are some of the best goalkeepers in the world and commented on his competition with Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer in the German national team. His Barcelona teammate Antoine Griezmann recently said that having ter Stegen in goal is almost like having an extra player on the pitch because his foot skills are so good, but there are keepers that ter Stegen rates higher than himself.
In recent years, he said, a strong generation of world-class goalkeepers has emerged across Europe. Ter Stegen said that Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak, Liverpool’s Alisson Becker, Manchester United’s David de Gea, and Neuer all represent their clubs strongly and their styles of play harmonize well with their teams. He said that it’s increasingly important in modern football for keepers to be able to identify with the clubs they play for.
While he has been vocal about his frustration in the past at being behind Neuer in the pecking order on the German national team, ter Stegen said that the mutual respect is there and the competition between them only helps elevate that performance of the rest of the team:
All these duels benefit the football, because the goalkeepers elevate their game because of them. It’s no different on the German team. The competitive aspect is what’s most important. We can never forget that and should always show mutual respect to one another in light of this competitive situation. Personally, I will always do my best and ensure that I’m the number 1 everywhere. That’s my goal. Even if my situation on the national team does not change, I will still continue to give my all. I can collect arguments that speak in my favor by shining every three days with Barca in the hope of becoming the number 1 on the national team.
Off the pitch, ter Stegen says one of his best coaches is his wife. His private life away from the commotion of football is something that’s very important to him, especially to help him recover both physically and mentally. His time at home helps him keep the proper physiological balance between football and his private life, which is something he cherishes dearly:
I’m happy to have the best possible coach at home — my wife! It’s very important to be able to change my perspective to distract myself between games. During the recovery period, I enjoy my private life, for example taking long walks along the sea with my dog. I talk a lot with my wife to reduce the pressure and recover better. That’s the best way to fill your energy back up. My wife really is the best coach that I can imagine. She’s not a football expert but she comes to the stadium now and then. At home, it’s not about football, but rather only about my feelings. It’s the psychological aspect that is discussed. As soon as I open the door and she sees my face, she knows whether we’ve won or not.