A hybrid between Kahn, Schmeichel and Neuer

It is a hard to believe that a youngster can have qualities from three of the best goalkeepers that history has, especially when we talking about a boy that didn’t reach 20, but who’s one of the best players of this Bundesliga season. Marc-Andre ter Stegen is the newest product of German goalkeeping school and he helped Borussia Monchengladbach to climb to an unexpected second place in the table, on 18th of February 2012.

Marc was born on 30th of April 1992 in Monchengladbach and signed his first contract with the club in 1996, when he was four, same age that Manuel Neuer, now the goalkeeper of Bayern Munich and the German national team, had when he joined Schalke 04 in 1991! Ter Stegen spent until now 16 years at Borussia, played at all junior groups and appeared on the bench in a couple of Bundesliga matches, but never made it to the first team since the spring of 2011, which means less than a year ago. On 10th of April, aged 18 he made his debut in a 5-1 win against Koln and since then remained first choice as he manage to keep three clean sheets from al the six matches in which he was involved in that season. Last year, Borussia nearly avoided relegation after a playoff against Bochum, but now, things changed and Monchengladbach is now the biggest threat for leading Borussia Dortmund. And most of the success is guaranteed by Marc, who didn’t let in more than 13 goals which means the best defense from the major European leagues.

But as I said, nothing happened because of a unknown reason, because his style of play reminds the World of two of the greatest goalkeepers that played until our days. Ter Stegen it is recognized for the similar way to organize his defensive, as Oliver Kahn did. Plus, like the former Geman keeper, Marc yells at his backs’ when they fail to respect his indication. Never less, he also has a great courage to exit in 1 on 1 situation without calculating some consequences that involve his body integrity. He does so even at the training and once, in mid September last year he collided with the goalkeepers’ coach, Uwe Kamps. The consequences were that Uwe was let unconscious and Marc lost two frontal teeth, situation that obliged the team doctor to take them to the hospital.

Also, ter Stegen is an adept of the star-fish save, a parade brevetted by Peter Schmeichel and which consists of spreading the legs and the arms in this shape, especially when the attacker shoots from close range, to cover as much as possible of the goal. And his 1.89 meter high and 85 kilograms weight helps him a lot in his saving attempts.

As I said, as well as Neuer at Schalke, ter Stegen started playing football from the age of four at Monchengladbach and appeared in all junior teams before his Bundesliga debut. The two goalkeepers were put face to face in two cases this season and Marc impressed both times mean while Manuel, now the Bayen Munchen’s goalkeeper, made two bloopers that helped Monchengladbach to win both encounters: 1-0 in the first match day, on Allianz Arena and 3-1 at home. This last match is the one after Sepp Maier, the former brilliant keeper of Bayern, told that in his opinion ter Stegen is as good as Neuer, even though the former Schalke keeper is five years older and many regard him as the greatest in the World in our days! Plus, Manuel managed this season to gather 1147 consecutive minutes without conceding a goal!

So, to celebrate ter Stege’s moment, let’s recapitulate all his 28 Bundesliga matches until 19th of February 2012:

10.04.2011 Monchengladbach – Koln 5-1
15.04.2011 Mainz – Monchengladbach 1-0
23.04.2011 Monchengladbach – Dortmund 1-0
30.04.2011 Hannover – Monchengladbach 0-1
07.05.2011 Monchengladbach – Freiburg 2-0
14.05.2011 Hamburger – Monchengladbach 1-1
07.08.2011 Bayern – Monchengladbach 0-1
13.08.2011 Monchengladbach – Stuttgart 1-1
19.08.2011 Monchengladbach – Wolfsburg 4-1
28.08.2911 Schalke – Monchengladbach 1-0
10.09.2011 Monchengladbach – Kaiserslautern 1-0
17.09.2011 Hamburger – Monchengladbach 0-1
24.09.2011 Monchengladbach – Nurnberg 1-0
01.10.2011 Freiburg – Monchengladbach 1-0
15.10.2011 Monchengladbach – Leverkusen 2-2
22.10.2011 Hoffenheim – Monchengladbach 1-0
29.10.2011 Monchengladbach – Hannover 2-1
05.11.2011 Hertha Berlin – Monchengladbach 1-2
19.11.2011 Monchengladbach – Bremen 5-0
25.11.2011 Koln – Monchengladbach 0-3
03.12.2011 Monchengladbach – Dortmund 1-1
10.12.2011 Augsburg – Monchengladbach 1-0
18.12.2011 Monchengladbach – Mainz 1-0
20.01.2012 Monchengladbach – Bayern 3-1
29.01.2012 Stuttgart – Monchengladbach 0-3
04.02.2012 Wolfsburg – Monchengladbach 0-0
11.02.2012 Monchengladbach – Schalke 04 3-0
18.02.2012 Kaiserslautern – Monchengladbach 1-2

28 M, 18 W, 5 D, 5 L, 46:16, 59 P, 14 CS

Other matches:
Budesliga play-off:
19.05.2011 Monchengladbach – Bochum 1-0
25.05.2011 Bochum – Monchengladbach 1-1

DFB Pokal
29.07.2011 Jahn Regensburg – Monchengladbach 1-3
25.10.2011 Heidenheim – Monchengladbach 0-0**
21.12.2011 Monchengladbach – Schalke 3-1
08.02.2012 Hertha Berlin – Monchengladbach 0-2*

TOTAL: 34 M, 22 W, 7 D, 5 L, 56:19, 73 P, 17 CS

M – matches
W – wins
D – draws
L – loses
P – points
CS – clean sheets

And a couple of brilliant saves…

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