Ter Stegen eyes Barcelona captaincy

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JOSEP LAGO
Four years into his Camp Nou career, the Germany international is seen as one of the most valuable players in the squad heading into this season

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is excited to be considered as one of the team's leaders this season.

The German goalkeeper has been touted as an option for one of the Spanish champions' four captains as coach Ernesto Valverde looks to establish a new hierarchy in his squad following the loss of last year's skipper Andres Iniesta.

After four years at the Catalan side, Ter Stegen has established himself as one of the stalwarts of the team, and is delighted to see his maturity being recognised among the squad.

"The team in general will decide on the captaincy,” the 26-year-old Germany international told reporters.

“It’s not the most important thing but I’m proud my name is being mentioned.

"I’d be proud to be one of Barcelona’s captains, but for me it’s not that important. We don’t need four captains because there are more captains than just four."

Ter Stegen has a tight grip on the No.1 spot at Barca when it comes to La Liga and the Champions League, reportedly leading backup goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen to consider his future in this transfer window.

And although Ter Stegen sympathises with his Dutch team-mate, he does not plan on giving up his spot for him.

"I can’t really say much about Jasper. If he wants to leave it depends on him. It’s a personal thing," he added.

"I understand that he wants to play, but I also want to be No 1 and to play in all the competitions. He knows it and the club knows it.”

He may be undisputed at Barca, but Ter Stegen is no regular for the Germany team, having been forced to settle for a spot on the bench at the World Cup as they crashed out at the group stage. 

"It was hard because, after having a season like the one we had just finished, I was looking forward to the tournament," Ter Stegen said.

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"But you have to respect the decision of the coach. It was very tough not to play, really, but I was there to help the team, which is the least I could do.

"It was a pity we couldn’t at least reach the quarter-finals, which was the first objective, and then to repeat our success of four years ago.

"But this is football and sometimes football does not go the way you want."

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