Zubizarreta: Ter Stegen faces huge challenge

The new Barcelona goalkeeper is in for tough task to replace Victor Valdes at Camp Nou, but the club's sporting director is confident he will pass the test
Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta is backing Marc-Andre ter Stegen to rise to the challenge of replacing Victor Valdes at Camp Nou.

Valdes leaves Barca this summer having opted to seek pastures new rather than extend his contract after a trophy-laden career at the club which saw him rack up 535 appearances.

Ter Stegen arrives in Catalunya with an excellent reputation due to his exploits with Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga and at youth-team level for Germany.

"Ter Stegen has a very difficult task, but it is an exciting one," Zubizarreta said.

"It is one of the great challenges but we think he is capable of dealing with that and doing well.

"He is very fast, agile and very decisive. He's also very good in the air and one-on-ones. There is still room for improvement but we've all got time to improve.

"He's very young but has a few seasons of  experience in the Bundesliga playing for one of the bigger clubs in that league.

"The deal has been one of those that has taken some time to go through but Marc has always shown loyalty to us because he also had commitments to Borussia. We have been after him for two or three years."

Ter Stegen himself admitted that moving to Barcelona represented a dream come true as he was unveiled to the media on Thursday.

The 22-year-old said: "This was always my number one option. There couldn't be anywhere better to be than Barca.

"Victor Valdes is an extraordinary goalkeeper who has done so much for this club. He's performed so well for so many years and won so many titles.

"But he's not here anymore and I am. I know what my job is - Barca have chosen me and I'm very proud of that."