Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has established himself as one of the best shot-stoppers in the world over the last couple of years, but it seems things could have been very different, as he considered leaving back in 2016. 

The German joined Barca from Borussia Monchengladbach back in 2014, but spent his first two seasons firmly behind Claudio Bravo in the pecking order, and it wasn't until the Chilean departed to join Pep Guardiola at Manchester City that Ter Stegen was given the gloves to keep. 

Reflecting on his early days in Catalonia, though, the 26-year-old admits that times were tough enough to make him consider his future.

"Basically, Claudio and I both managed to deal well with the situation. He is a great goalkeeper who earned the place back then," he said, via Goal. "The coach did not have to change because he had a goalkeeper in the league who showed good performances.

"Of course, you start to ponder because playing football is the most important thing. It would not have been better if the coach had said: 'You're playing in the league now and Bravo in the other competitions.' 


"That was not what I wanted and in 2016 came the situation where I had to think about leaving Barca.

"The club was up to date all the time. Claudio and I dealt with the situation openly and said we did not like it. At some point there is the moment when it is no longer tenable. Then Barcelona clearly made a decision and decided for me. I think I have paid it back so far." 

His decision to stay put has certainly paid off, as he has rapidly risen to the top as one of the best goalkeepers on the planet as a first-team regular, and he says that he has no intention of changing that for the time being. 

"It's wonderful in Barcelona. I love the city. My wife is happy too. We have everything we need here. Of course, I miss the family from time to time, but they have always the opportunity to visit me.

"I have another three and a half years contract. How it looks then, I cannot say now. But what I can say now is that I enjoy the current situation and enjoy going to stand on the pitch every day."