Barcelona goalkeeper Marc Andre-ter Stegen spoke to SPORT about the season so far and the games ahead, after participating in a photo session for Adidas at the University of Barcelona.
Here is part two of the interview…
The draw with Valencia ended a good defensive run…
Before those eight games that you mention were were not a t a good defensive level, and I don’t just refer to the four in front of the keeper, but the whole team. We have to defend as a team always and I think we have generally been doing well in recent games.
Barca are Liga leaders and now have a double Clasico in the cup, but people talk about the Champions League as the season’s big obsession…
Yes, for everyone, like every year. We want to play well and have luck on our side but for that we know we need to be at our best in the right moment. For that it’s fundamental to be in good form to be on top in those decisive moments in the Champions League.
What did you learn from the brutal Rome elimination?
Many things. What happened in Rome was not easy to take, above all from a mental point of view. When we mess up we try to learn from our errors not to repeat them. Now we’re in a new season and we want to do as well as possible. We’ll face Lyon and we know we have to be 100 per cent to hit our great objective this season.
At 26, you seem hugely confident in yourself.
I’m convinced about what I’m doing on the pitch, sometimes you make mistakes but it doesn’t mean that you’re a bad goalkeeper. I plan to continue like this, growing, I’m happy with the work I’m doing day in day out. In the Champions League if you have luck, the ball might hit the post, sometimes it goes in. They are phases that happen in football.
You seem to take less risks now with the ball at your feet.
Every time I go on the pitch what I want is a solution for the team, and that’s not easy. I believe in each one of the players on my team but in myself too, and in these years I’ve learned to calculate the risk of every decision. Each season you improve in something. That doesn’t mean I wont mess up of course, but as a keeper you have to be strong and show that in every game.