Marc-Andre Ter Stegen it is no longer untouchable. The Barcelona goalkeeper arrived in 2014 from Borussia Monchengladbach as a personal bet from Andoni Zubizarreta, although the technical secretariat accumulated countless reports supporting his signing. They were the 12 million euros best invested by the Catalan club. The German goal minimized the impact of the march of Victor Valdes and he was key in the achievement of the Champions League and the Cup in his first year (the League was played by Claudio Bravo). He dazzled with his footwork and fell in love with the ‘soci’ with his integration into Catalan life, traveling by public transport and allowing himself to be seen in the museums and restaurants of Barcelona.
After more than five years fighting for supremacy in the League to cloud Y Courteous and generating an intense debate in Germany on whether News He had to step aside in the national team, the goalkeeper seems to have lost his magic and already accumulates too many games without being key for Barcelona.
Before he saved points, now he makes an improper mistake in his category in each game. Excessive. The numbers speak volumes. This season has conceded 28 goals in 22 games. The culé environment attributes his poor performance to a physical issue, focused on his knee, which has given him many problems.
It all dates back to the end of the 2019-20 season, when after the humiliating defeat against Bayern (2-8) he had to be operated on by Doctor Cugat for his patellar tendon. Quique Setien, Barcelona coach at the time, did not know until that moment the physical problems that his goalkeeper had been suffering, who had not communicated it to anyone. Some discomforts that have been reproduced, as evidenced by the “therapeutic treatment” to which he had to undergo in May on the same knee, his right, and that prevented him from playing the European Championship. Dr. Hakan Alfredson was in charge of the intervention.
He missed the first two league games. He returned to Getafe and this past Tuesday he completed his 300th game with the Barcelona shirt. Just the gatekeepers Victor Valdes (536), Zubizarreta (410) and Sadurní (331) have played more games than him, although he will have the opportunity to improve his numbers after having renewed his contract a year ago (together with Piqué, Lenglet and De Jong) until 2025. Precisely, this extension responded to the club’s need to postpone salary payments for the serious financial problem in which he finds himself, since from the sports field there began to be doubts about his physical condition and the possibility that his joint problems are chronic. In fact, club sources assure that they do not rule out that he plays each game in pain, which affects his performance.
Exam until June
Ter Stegen has six months to go to show that he deserves to continue being the owner of the Camp Nou goal. If not, it will be on the market, because Laporta he intends to fulfill his maxim that defeats carry consequences. «If I was bad in the knee, I wouldn’t be here. I’m fine, happy with what we did this summer. This situation is difficult for everyone. If things don’t go well for you, there are some, those who have been around the longest, who are being targeted the most. The 300 game is very special for me », the goalkeeper defends himself from criticism.