Marc-Andre ter Stegen can emulate Victor Valdes’ distinguished career at Barcelona, says Gianluca Zambrotta.
Ter Stegen made the switch to Camp Nou in 2014, but largely played second fiddle to Claudio Bravo in LaLiga during his first two seasons at the club – although he was first choice in the Champions League.
Bravo’s departure for Manchester City has seen Ter Stegen become the regular number one, though, and he has faced criticism for a series of high-profile errors during a season in which Barca have struggled to hit top form.
But Zambrotta, who spent two years at Barca between 2006 and 2008, says the Germany international has time to become as influential as Valdes, who won six LaLiga titles, two Copas del Rey and three Champions League medals before departing the club in 2014.
“You can’t discuss a goalkeeper like Victor Valdes. He made history for Barcelona and was phenomenal in Spain,” he told Omnisport.
“For sure even he [Ter Stegen] can make history as Barcelona are doing great things. He can become [the new Valdes].”
Barca’s indifferent LaLiga form has seen the champions fall six points adrift of Real Madrid in the title race.
Luis Enrique’s men face a crucial Clasico contest at home to Madrid on Saturday and Zambrotta says whoever can keep their heads in the pressure cooker of arguably club football’s biggest game will emerge victorious.
“I remember the great emotion and the huge build-up in the week leading to the game,” he added.
“The same in the warm-up and during the game itself. The wait is tense. That week is only about the game. Newspapers talk about it endlessly. There is a lot of pressure.”
Zambrotta feels the allure of El Clasico has only been heightened by the star quality on show with Barca’s Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez coming up against the likes of Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.
“It is still a great match. Lately Barcelona and Real Madrid have always faced each other with a squad of extraordinary players,” he said.
“And we have [Zinedine] Zidane as a manager too, then Ronaldo, just to mention one player at Real.
“On the other side Messi, Suarez and Neymar. A great and beautiful game everybody in the world wants to watch.”
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