LA SENYERA

Marc-André ter Stegen: The Great Wall of Barcelona

The ball is at your feet. You have worked extremely hard to get past the highly-regarded defence of Futbol Club Barcelona. The pressure has kicked in and all the eyes of the world are on you. Your pace is unparalleled and your shooting ability is profound. As the ball thunders off your feet, glory is almost certain with the pace and the venom of shot you have taken but, there is something which is between you and the net. The ball doesn’t go in. What could have stopped the attempt? What could have gone wrong? The balled is stopped by an unfathomable aura. It is certainly an aura, beyond the understanding of the footballing gods. It is something which is stronger than steel, yet as gentle as a baby. As long as it is in front of the goal, there is no chance of you getting through. That phenomenon ladies and gentlemen, that aura, is known Marc-André ter Stegen.

We have time and again seen this absolute monster of a man saving us from the brink of defeat. Ter Stegen is probably the best goalkeeper to play for the highly acclaimed club of FC Barcelona. It is not only his flexibility, skills or reflexes which make him one of the best in the world but also his ability to adapt to various situations and distribute the ball accordingly which puts him in the apex of the pyramid of goalkeepers in the world.

Being a goalkeeper itself if one of the most challenging tasks in world football today. Even if you don’t get enough of the ball, you have to stay alert at all times and position yourself for the best. Goalkeepers are often subjected to a lot of criticism due to the vulnerability of their job and are often disregarded or aren’t given the footballing limelight in comparison to the highly-paid forwards. Despite all odds, ter Stegen is a fan favourite and is loved by the FC Barcelona community.

His ability to play the Barcelona Way makes him even more special. His comfort with the football at his feet is better than most forwards today. He remains confident at all times and isn’t intimidated by the greatest forwards of his generation. His ability to pass the ball with exorbitant accuracy along with the trust his team mates have while returning the ball to him makes him one of the most versatile goalkeepers of his time. He isn’t the tallest of keepers but he certainly has the ability to save any shot from any angle at any part of the goal. He is as flexible as a gazelle with his reflexes being faster than a cheetah. Even with his thin and wiry physique, he is capable of stopping bullets.

His most decorated ability perhaps is to judge the runs of a forward and act accordingly. His positioning is amazing and he has a great understanding of the overall game. He sets inch-perfect defensive walls and rarely concedes goals from free-kicks.

Marc-André ter Stegen is certainly a gem in the star studded necklace of FC Barcelona and we are extremely fortunate to have a goalkeeper of such caliber. His humble nature along with his immense goalkeeping abilities has made him one of the most likeable and reliable personalities in the club.

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