Friday April 7 2017
Ter Stegen: 'Buffon a worldwide legend'

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen insists that Gianluigi Buffon is a 'worldwide legend'.

The 24-year-old spoke ahead of the Champions League quarter final first leg with Juventus next Tuesday evening.

But does he feel like he is currently the best goalkeeper in the world?

"Well, this is something that must be answered by others," the goalkeeper told Tuttosport. "However it is clear that I believe in order to stay here you have to have quality.

"All goalkeepers who are playing for great teams are doing so through their performance. Clause of €80m? I don’t believe that the terms are all that important, what matters to me is that there is good feeling between myself and the club and that I’m confident that I'm playing well.

"These things are the most important and I do not like to talk about €80m. Playing here, at one of the best clubs in the world, is the aim that every ambitious player. Barca is different from other clubs it is more than a club.

"Thanks to the quality of organically grown players, it allows you to compete every year for exceptional titles and trophies."

Dani Alves made the move from Barca to Juventus this summer, so what does his former teammate think about this?

"I do not know exactly why Dani Alves decided to leave. But he was fine here in Barcelona, he won a lot, and now plays for a team that has equal quality and I think for him it has been a good experience on a personal as well as a professional level.

"Therefore, yes, I suppose that his decision was not only motivated by sport but also on personal reflection."

Does Ter Stegen think that Manuel Neuer is still the best in the world?

"Manuel has a safe place as the number one because he played very well in the past. The number one jersey is his, although of course this does not mean that he should not continue to consistently demonstrate his qualities. We are behind him but will try to put pressure on him."

Playing against Juventus means that the German will match up with counterpart Gianluigi Buffon. What are his thoughts on the 39-year-old?

"He’s a legend, not only in Italy, but all over the world. He's playing still at an age where normally you can no longer be able to offer certain performance levels, and instead ... he is proving to everyone you can do it. He offers great performances.

"For me he is an idol, but not only for me, for all the goalkeepers, and he’s a good person.

"I've always liked to have a unique style, but there are things like the mentality and charisma that I especially appreciated in Oliver Kahn.

"[Lionel] Messi says I have ‘special feet’? I thank him, I'm trying to do the best for the team and playing with my feet helps both the team and myself."