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Ter Stegen determined to keep Germany starting spot ahead of Neuer: "I'm the number 1!"

By Rune Gjerulff   @runegjerulff

With Manuel Neuer close to returning from injury, Marc-André ter Stegen will do "everything" to stay ahead of the 37-year-old in the Germany pecking order.
Marc-André ter Stegen.
Marc-André ter Stegen.Photo: Кирилл Венедиктов/Soccer.ru/CC-by-SA 3.0
Marc-André ter Stegen has been Germany's number one while Manuel Neuer has been out with a long-term injury.

With Neuer on the verge of a comeback, the question is whether the 37-year-old Bayern veteran will reclaim his place for next year's European Championship, or whether the Barcelona shot-stopper, who is six years younger, will remain in goal.

Ter Stegen, of course, will do everything in his power to retain his place in Hansi Flick's starting eleven.

"Yes, I'm the number 1! I will do everything to keep that status," ter Stegen told Bild ahead of Saturday's friendly against Japan.

"I don't know what stage of his career 'Manu' is at. After such a serious injury, the most important thing is that he gets back on the pitch. I hope he enjoys football again. I cannot influence these issues. I can't and I don't want to waste energy on that. I can't tell the coach what to do. My focus is on what I can do in the next two games.

Ter Stegen, 31, believes his chances of securing the number one spot are greater now than they were before the 2018 World Cup, before which Neuer also struggled with injury.

"In 2017, Manu was the clear number 1. I had shown what I could do and hoped that I would be in goal. It wasn't like that. It was the coach's decision. Now the situation has changed. Now I can play."

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