Marc-Andre ter Stegen was shortlisted for The Best FIFA Goalkeeper Award 2019
The German has started every Barça game this season
Club welcome Dortmund to Camp Nou on Wednesday in Champions League
Marc-Andre ter Stegen summed up his 2019 as being a year of "highs and lows,” and with very good reason. He experienced moments of real joy, including a title in La Liga with Barcelona and qualifying for UEFA EURO 2020 with Germany. But alongside those were bitter disappointments, like his side’s UEFA Champions League elimination in a disastrous semi-final second leg and their Copa del Rey final defeat.
Results aside, Ter Stegen unquestionably established himself as one of the finest keepers in the world this year, as evidenced by his presence among the finalists for The Best FIFA Goalkeeper Award 2019. Not content to rest on his laurels, the player wants to achieve even more in the year to come.
The 27-year-old German made time for a chat with FIFA.com, looking back on 2019 and revealing some of his upcoming targets.
FIFA.com: Marc-Andre, how would you sum up your 2019?
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: It was a year of many ups and downs, as often happens. Obviously, both [Barcelona] and I always strive to be as successful as possible. We won a lot of games but unfortunately couldn't make it to the Champions League final. Nevertheless, I think we had a good year overall as a team.
What lessons will your club have learned this year?
We’re always trying to improve. Last season we won the league and had a lot of ambitious goals. Unfortunately, we failed to realise them in the Champions League and Copa del Rey. But that’s football. You never know what's going to happen, although I think we took lot of experience from it and can learn from the bad things that happened.
It seems like winning the Champions League is, if not the main goal for the club, then one of the most important. Is that the case?
Yes, always, every year. That’s an easy question to answer. At this club we always want to win every available title. Every one of them is important, and the Champions League, obviously, even more so. We've started well and want to go a very long way [in the competition].
Marc-Andre ter Stegen through the years
Marc-Andre ter Stegen of Germany warms
Marco Reus of Borussia Dortmund challenges Marc-Andre ter Stegen of FC Barcelona
On the international level, Germany stamped their ticket for EURO 2020 but also experienced some difficulties. On balance, how would you assess things?
That's normal. We made changes and the system is a little different. It's not uncommon to have some highs and lows. The team is younger than before, with less experience, but we played important games against the Netherlands, which helped us develop. However, there’s still room for progression ahead of EURO 2020.
Germany fans can be very demanding, even during a period of transition. Do you feel pressure to get results?
There's always pressure. People want us to win – they're used to us winning. But it's not always easy, let alone with such a young team. I think the fans should have a little patience with us. We always try to give our all for our country, and we know the kind of commitment this takes.
What are your wishes for 2020?
The most important thing for me is always family and friends, so my wish is for them to have health and happiness. Time will look after everything else and I know that if I work hard, the results will come.