Ter Stegen Celebrates 400 Appearance with Barcelona

Ter Stegen / Getty Images
Ter Stegen / Getty Images

Ter Stegen reaches appearance milestone with Barcelona strong form.

Marc-André Ter Stegen reached a historic milestone in the match against Mallorca. The German reached 400 official games wearing the FC Barcelona jersey, proudly serving as the second captain and with the ambition to further increase his records. Ter Stegen expressed his satisfaction in statements to the club’s official media, saying he feels “pride in wearing this jersey for so long” and emphasized that he will “carry this team with me forever. It’s a really beautiful milestone.” The goalkeeper’s journey as a Blaugrana began in 2014.

The challenge was daunting as he had to replace a legend like Víctor Valdés, but he has lived up to expectations. Barcelona paid €12 million to Borussia Mönchengladbach for his signing, and after two seasons sharing the goal with Claudio Bravo, he established himself as Barça’s number one. Ter Stegen has always had great confidence in himself, though he admitted, “At first, you don’t think about these things,” referring to the 400 games, adding that these numbers “now have more meaning; the more games, the better.”

His goal remains unchanged: “I try to give my best for this badge and enjoy being on the field in so many games.” Ter Stegen has successfully recovered from his recent back surgery, keeping clean sheets in the last three league matches. He may not repeat last season’s Zamora Trophy win, when he conceded only 18 goals in 27 league games, but his trophy cabinet boasts 16 titles: 5 La Liga titles, 5 Copa del Reys, 3 Spanish Super Cups, 1 Champions League, 1 UEFA Super Cup, and 1 FIFA Club World Cup.

His ten seasons at Barça have led him to become the team’s second captain, behind Sergi Roberto, and he has another role in the locker room: Ter Stegen reflected, “You learn from situations,” aiming to “make the most of experience and share what I can with those who are new or have played fewer games.” His calm demeanor helps provide stability in the dressing room: “I try to give my perspective and experience. In the end, that’s what it’s about.” Last season, success, especially in La Liga, came from building a solid defensive foundation.

The repetition of 1-0 victories didn’t fully convince even Xavi Hernández, who always advocated for an offensive style of play, but not conceding goals and showing reliability at the back proved crucial. Marc-André Ter Stegen received the Zamora Trophy last season, his first during his long tenure at Barça, and he was outstanding in several matches. This season, an injury that required surgery led to a phase where Barça conceded more goals than necessary and dropped many points that would now be crucial. It wasn’t Iñaki Peña’s fault, as he was ready to cover the Blaugrana goal. The Alicante native experienced firsthand the defensive mishaps of the team. However, Ter Stegen is truly irreplaceable, and the effects of his return are already evident. The German missed up to 17 matches due to a back injury that required surgery. Even his return wasn’t smooth, as he conceded three goals against Granada in his first game back. Since then, only his ‘nemesis’ Iago Aspas in Vigo (1-2) and the ‘masked’ Victor Osimhen at Diego Armando Maradona have scored against him.

That was in the 75th minute of the game, so between La Liga and the Champions League, Marc-André has gone 285 minutes without conceding. This is great news ahead of the crucial match against Napoli. Ter Stegen has kept clean sheets against Getafe (4-0), Athletic Club (0-0), and Mallorca (1-0), adding to the 8 he had before the injury, totaling 11 this season.

In total, the Mönchengladbach native has made 55 saves this season: 46 in La Liga and 9 in the Champions League. Marc-André Ter Stegen has conceded 20 goals in 23 games played, so his average is below one goal per game, specifically 0.86. A solid foundation to build a secure and reliable Barça in this final stretch of the season.