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What ter Stegen’s injury means for the fight for the German goal
As of: 11:37 a.m. | Reading time: 4 minutes
Open combat? Marc-André ter Stegen (left) and Manuel Neuer compete for the place in goal
Source: picture alliance/SVEN SIMON/Anke Waelischmiller
Goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen has to miss the European Championship tests against Turkey and Austria due to a back injury. This means a bitter setback for his fight for German number one. Manuel Neuer has already benefited from the injury of a competitor.
During Saturday he made his way back to Barcelona. To the city where he has lived since 2014 and to which he would have liked to return just a few days later. But a back injury forced Marc-André ter Stegen to leave the German national football team early.
On Friday evening, national coach Julian Nagelsmann had to announce that his number one goalkeeper would not only miss the test against Turkey on Saturday evening due to severe back pain, but also the game against Austria in Vienna on Tuesday. The news from the DFB doctors about the goalkeeper’s retirement came so close to the national soccer team’s press conference that Nagelsmann had not yet come to a decision about filling the important position. However, he ruled out Manuel Neuer being nominated again. The Bayern goalkeeper decided not to take part in the final European Championship tests in 2023 after his break of more than ten months. Last Wednesday, the Munich native was only present at the presentation of the European Championship ball in Berlin. There, however, Neuer made it known that he would fight for the regular place in the German goal.
For ter Stegen, the end of the international matches at the end of the year is a bitter setback. After Neuer’s serious injury, he was the clear number one in the national team. Former national coach Hansi Flick had chosen the 31-year-old as the new number one in goal at the beginning of September in the run-up to the test against Japan, which was then lost 1:4 and sealed Flick’s exit. Ter Stegen then played the games against France (2:1), USA (3:1) and Mexico (2:2). Nagelsmann, who succeeded interim coach Rudi Völler after the game against France, confirmed Flick’s decision.
Back instead of support: Goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen will miss the next two international matches
Source: dpa/Arne Dedert
Manuel Neuer’s return is scheduled
Manuel Neuer, who was number one in Germany’s goal for twelve years until his injury in December and has made 117 international appearances in his career, should – if he stays fit – return to the squad for the international matches in March. The opponents for these games are still open, there is talk of France and the Netherlands.
What is certain, however, is that the cards will probably be reshuffled for the position in goal for the German national football team due to Ter Stegen’s absence due to injury. Behind ter Stegen and Neuer, Kevin Trapp (33, Eintracht Frankfurt), Oliver Baumann (33, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim) and Janis Blaswich (32, RB Leipzig) belong to the extended circle of keepers in the DFB selection.
As far as the fight for number one goal is concerned, Neuer already benefited from the injury of a colleague – in the run-up to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. In March, immediately before a test in Munich against Argentina, the then national coach Joachim Löw and the former goalkeeping coach Andreas Köpke appointed René Adler number one and Neuer number two. But when Adler was out with a broken rib before the World Cup, Neuer rose to number one. It was the beginning of a world career.
It is still unclear who will be the starting goalkeeper for Germany in the European Championship next year. In an interview with WELT AM SONNTAG, which was conducted two days before the back injury, Marc-André ter Stegen backed up his claims. “My thinking is clear: for me it is important to show and confirm performance. In the end, it’s all about performance. And if I show that with the national team and FC Barcelona, then I have very good chances,” said Ter Stegen. When asked if he meant staying number one, he replied: “I know that’s what they always want to hear. Of course that is my claim. I have already communicated this several times. And that’s good.”
National coach Nagelsmann is allowed to nominate a total of 23 players for the European Championship squad, including three goalkeepers.