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 sqjyjg.com特级做人爱c级日本, looking back on 2019 and revealing some of his upcoming targets.
sqjyjg.com: Marc-Andre, how would you sum up your 2019?
Marc-Andre ter Stegen:特级做人爱c级日本 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?
特级做人爱c级日本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
25 Nov 2019
特级做人爱c级日本FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 19: Marc-Andre ter Stegen of Germany warms up prior to the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier between Germany and Northern Ireland at Commerzbank Arena on November 19, 2019 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty Images)
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Marco Reus of Borussia Dortmund challenges Marc-Andre ter Stegen of FC Barcelona
特级做人爱c级日本25 Nov 2019
特级做人爱c级日本DORTMUND, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 17: Marco Reus of Borussia Dortmund challenges Marc-Andre ter Stegen of FC Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League group F match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Barcelona at Signal Iduna Park on September 17, 2019 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Bongarts/Getty Images)
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Marc Andre Ter Stegen of Moenchengladbach celebrates
17 Nov 2011
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 05: Marc Andre Ter Stegen of Moenchengladbach celebrates with his supporters after winning the Bundesliga match between Hertha BSC Berlin and Borussia Moenchengladbach at Olympic Stadium on November 5, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Matthias Kern/Bongarts/Getty Images)
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Lionel Messi of Argentina tries to score a goal againt goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen of Germany
15 Aug 2012
特级做人爱c级日本FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - AUGUST 15: Lionel Messi of Argentina tries to score a goal againt goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen of Germany during the international friendly match between Germany and Argentina at Commerzbank-Arena on August 15, 2012 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)
特级做人爱c级日本© Getty Images
AS Roma v FC Barcelona - Marc-Andre ter Stegen of Barcelona saves a shot from Stephan El Shaarawy of AS Roma
10 Apr 2018
ROME, ITALY - APRIL 10: Marc-Andre ter Stegen of Barcelona saves a shot from Stephan El Shaarawy of AS Roma during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg match between AS Roma and FC Barcelona at Stadio Olimpico on April 10, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
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Barcelona's German goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen jumps for the ball
特级做人爱c级日本11 Feb 2019
特级做人爱c级日本Barcelona's German goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen jumps for the ball during the Spanish league football match Athletic Club Bilbao against FC Barcelona at the San Mames stadium in Bilbao on February 10, 2019. / AFP / ANDER GILLENEA
The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper Award finalist Marc Andre Ter Stegen and partner attend The Best FIFA Football Awards 2019
23 Sep 2019
MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 23: The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper Award finalist Marc Andre Ter Stegen and partner attend The Best FIFA Football Awards 2019 at Teatro alla Scala on September 23, 2019 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Simon Hofmann - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
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On the international level, Germany stamped their ticket for EURO 2020 but also experienced some difficulties. On balance, how would you assess things?
特级做人爱c级日本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.