Friday, August 14, 2020 at
Barcelona – Bayern Munich is not only one of the four quarter-finals of the Champions League, but for football-loving Germany also the duel of the goalkeepers: Marc-André ter Stegen versus Manuel Neuer. The story is known: Neuer has been the undisputed number one of the national team for years and Ter Stegen are the stand-in. Relationships have been on edge since last year, however, when Ter Stegen openly indicated that the situation was ‘driving a bit crazy’ and noted that he now deserves a chance.
Neuer found the statements ‘uncollegial’ and ‘not smart’ and replied that a trainer always drafts his best footballers. “I am convinced that I am the best.” Employer Bayern Munich also responded critically to the statements of Ter Stegen, who played only 24 A-international matches in 8 years. The Bavarian club did not like that no one from the German Football Association spoke out on the matter. “Ter Stegen talks as if he has already become world champion seventeen times. He has no right to speak at all ”, Bayern icon Uli Hoeness grumbled.
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Sander Westerveld does recognize something of the situation in which Ter Stegen finds itself. “I absolutely do not want to compare myself with Ter Stegen, let that be clear”, the former goalkeeper says in conversation with the WE. “But the situation does remind me of me and Edwin van der Sar. I was a good goalkeeper, was on the rise at Liverpool and I felt like I was getting closer to playing in Orange. Only Van der Sar was there too. And that was better. ” Westerveld states that Ter Stegen has the same problem as the goalkeepers that Iker Casillas and Gianluigi Buffon had in front of them. “Although he will really feel that he is at least equivalent to Neuer. That was not the case with me and Van der Sar, for example. ”
“That made it easier for me to accept the situation.” Rumors have it that Neuer, 34 years old and 92 international matches, will stop as an international after the European Championship. “For me, Neuer is currently the most complete goalkeeper in the world. He meets all the requirements that a top goalkeeper must meet. But I think Ter Stegen is now so good that there will come a time when he will pass Neuer ”, foresees Westerveld, who also thinks that as captain Neuer will always have an advantage. “Neuer has experience with the big tournaments: European Championships, World Cups and Champions League.”
“That’s so many matches at a high level, that can make the difference in big matches. At the important moments, Neuer does not get nervous and is always there. ” Westerveld believes that Ter Stegen should remain patient for a while, also because he would choose Neuer himself. “I would say: another year. Neuer is still doing the European Championship and after that it is really time for Ter Stegen. ”