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 one of the interview…
In what have you improved since arriving at Barca in 2014?
In each season, in each game, you stick with something to improve. I think learning is the most important thing, I will learn each and every day of my sporting career. And that is something I would like to apply to my life out side of football. For now I’m on a good path and I want to continue like this.
You say it’s good to come out of your comfort zone, do you still believe that?
For sure, one hundred percent. That’s why I came to Barcelona, to experience something different. You have to learn a language, you will meet different people, you have to adapt. And now I hope to keep growing and learning.
Three leagues in four years but never the Zamora award. Does that worry you?
No because individual prizes are important but I prefer winning La Liga, the cup, and if possible, the Champions League. The collective is much more important to me than the individual. Of course if you have a great season, a personal prize gives you a lot of confidence, but it’s not the most important thing.
Do you watch a lot of football, study the opponents?
The truth is not that much. I see games, of course, but not all of them, because it’s important to disconnect and think about something different. We too have a private life and to be fresh, in body and head, you have to disconnect. I like everything about architecture and interior design, for example.
In your day to day there’s an important person who doesn’t speak much, keeper coach Jose Ramon de la Fuente. What does he bring?
He’s one of those people that always works in the shadows, he’s a spectacular person and he’s supported me from the word go, since I came to Barca, and that at the start was nothing easy.
Because you wanted to play more…
Yes, I wanted to have more of a role than I had. Now we train every day to improve in everything we can improve in. It’s a path that we work on daily. ‘Dela’ helps a lot to prepare me, he works a lot with me and thanks to him, I am stronger.
Will you be Barca keeper for many more years?
Truth is, I don’t think too much about the future. I have a contract here with three and a half year to go, I want to do my job as always and what comes, you never know. But I am happy here at the club, people treat me in a special way. I feel great in the city, you never know - but I am really happy.
Have you thought about being a coach in the future?
I haven’t thought about it, there are things away from football that could interest me. I’m not going to say it doesn’t interest me, being on the pitch coaching the players, a good team.