In a revealing interview, Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen discussed his personality and how he has enjoyed his time in Barcelona.
The shot-stopper has been one of his team’s best performers this season and is competing with Jan Oblak in the race for the Zamora trophy.
“I’m not like Valdes and I didn’t want to be,” he admitted to Panenka magazine.
“Our style is different, but I looked up to Oliver Kahn for his mentality.”
A fundamental part of his game involves playing with the ball at his feet, something he recognised but knows that it is not for everyone.
“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t know how to play with my feet, it’s important for this club,” he confessed.
“There are goalkeepers who fit perfectly in each style, like Ederson and [Claudio] Bravo at [Manchester] City.
“There are others like [Gianluigi] Buffon who is good at Juventus, but if you make a change and I play at Juventus and Buffon at Barca, maybe I wouldn’t be who I am now.”
The German also looked back on a harder time at the Camp Nou as he reflected upon his arrival at the club and how he was initially the second choice goalkeeper behind Claudio Bravo, only playing cup competitions.
“I wanted to be the number one here and of course, when I realised it would be Bravo it was difficult,” he explained.
“Because he was an international, he had won titles, he had more experience.
“Sharing work for many years is very difficult, after the first it was hard to accept the situation but I had to do it because he won the league, but after the second year I didn’t like the situation.”
He also remembered that then technical secretary Andoni Zubizarreta played a crucial role in persuading him to move to Spain from Borussia Monchengladbach.
“I valued that he wanted to meet me in person and he spoke to me about interesting things, about the style, the mentality and the culture of the club,” he said.
The shotstopper was also full of praise for the team’s current coach, Ernesto Valverde.
“We have a coach who has seen what it’s like elsewhere, when he coached Athletic [Club], he always put pressure on us to make us suffer on the pitch,” he analysed.
“Now we have a coach who knows exactly what we’ve done until now and this year we have improved defensively, it was clear that we had to be more united.
“Working hard, although we have to defend quite little, we know what we have to do.”
With two(2) league games left this season, Ter Stegen will be looking to secure the Zamora trophy and help his team to remain unbeaten in LaLiga for the first time.