By 90Min
February 20, 2018

Barcelona star Marc-Andre ter Stegen has emerged as one of the best goalkeepers in Europe in recent seasons, but the German international has revealed that he only started playing in goal as a result of an emergency and an ultimatum.

Having joined hometown club Borussia Monchengladbach at the age of just four after being signed by his grandfather, a young Ter Stegen was initially a striker and playing in goal only happened several years later by chance.

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"Our goalkeeper had a bloody nose. I don't know how this could happen so often, but I was the one who wanted to go in goal so I did for these couple of matches," he told the Daily Telegraph.

It would appear that things weren't working out for 10-year-old Ter Stegen as an attacker. But after seemingly impressing the youth team coaching staff during his cameo between the sticks, he was offered a chance to stay if he agreed to permanently become a goalkeeper instead.

He was desperate to stay at Gladbach and, fortunately, he was happy to make the switch.

"Afterwards our coach said either you leave the club, because he wasn't happy with my style of running, or you be goalkeeper," the Barça number one continued.

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"Of course there was never a really big question for me. I felt good being in goal and happy to be around these people so it was never a question for me to leave the club and leave all the people I'd gotten to know during this time. I was 10 years old, I didn't want to go to another club."

After three season as Gladbach's starter, Ter Stegen was picked up by Barcelona for €12m in the summer of 2014 as the Catalans looked to replace long serving stopper Victor Valdes.

Claudio Bravo played every La Liga game in that first season, but Ter Stegen was given the nod in Copa del Rey and Champions League outing as Barça won an historic second treble. He continued that role in his second season, but became undisputed number one in 2016.

(You may also be interested in 'Picking a Combined XI of Chelsea & Barcelona Players Ahead of Tuesday's Champions League Showdown')

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