Ter Stegen, the new leadership

The German, who championed the pass to the Barça final, represents a new time in a rejuvenated dressing room that has a lower level but transmits more enthusiasm.


"He's still flying," Ronald Araújo defined Marc André Ter Stegen's match (the Uruguayan's had not fallen short) in the semifinal of the Spanish Super Cup against Real Sociedad. Because when Riqui Puig scored the decisive goal (2-3 in the shoot-out), the bulk of the players did not go towards Matadepera. They all ran to surround the German goalkeeper, aware of how much he had grown in extra time against Januzaj, in the penalty shootout, and how he had led Barça to the final. "Come on!" He yelled when he saved Bautista's first penalty in the shootout. But he had more work. Then he could also with Oyarzábal. "Come on, dammit!" He added the interjection to the second. His capacity for intimidation reached such an extreme that Willian José wanted to adjust the third txuri-urdin pitch so much that he hit his stick. Basically, the penalty shootout was won by him. And he put a Barça in the final that is looking for its first title after a year of drought.

That final pineapple around Ter Stegen, with all the players giving him slaps, illuminates a new leadership in Barça. In his seventh season, and renewed until 2025 after the pandemic, Ter Stegen is a respected player in the locker room, but he has also had his friction with the old sacred cows. Different ways of looking at things, different concepts about the hierarchies in the wardrobe that now fit. It is a time of new roles and new leadership. And, apparently, Ter Stegen represents the new values of a dressing room that, surely, has less quality than the one that signed the best decade of the club in its history, but that now transmits much more enthusiasm than that group of worn-out players who threw away in Lisbon the shirt with the 2-8.

There was also Ter Stegen. The German had certain doubts about his continuity at Barça. Well established in the city and in the club, however, he needed the dressing room to be cleaned up and a new image of seriousness transmitted. What you see now you like better. The fall of Lisbon made Barça kiss the canvas. The stars, the egos, the lightness to skip training are over. A new professionalism has been imposed. And, in addition, the youngest follow him. They see him as a leader. "Flying", like Araújo. Ter Stegen, however, did not want to shoot rockets after the game. "Nor is it to feel super proud." He, who arrived at Barça in 2014 and touched the sky with the triplet that same season, has seen a giant entity collapse. That is why he knows that, within his obligations, he is to rebuild it. "We are at Barça to win games like this," he recalled. It's possible. There are occasions, however, that a simple Spanish Super Cup semifinal reaches a more important symbolic value than that of certain Champions League qualifiers. Barça wants to invent a new time and Ter Stegen represents a new leadership.

Photos from as.com
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