Ivan Rakitic has backed Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to remain crucial to the Camp Nou club, despite errors creeping into his game this season.
Designated Barca’s cup goalkeeper, Ter Stegen contributed to last season’s treble success by playing all of their Copa del Rey and Champions League games, although he did not taste a minute of La Liga action as Claudio Bravo was given the nod.
Ter Stegen has come in for criticism this term, having conceded a 50-yard goal from Mikel San Jose in Barca’s Supercopa de Espana defeat to Athletic Bilbao, as well as an Alessandro Florenzi effort from the touchline when Luis Enrique’s men visited Roma in the Champions League.
Both times Ter Stegen’s positioning was in question as he was lobbed from long range, but Rakitic remains confident that the Germany international is good enough for the Catalan club.
Rakitic told Kicker: “He’s incredibly ambitious, already one of the best goalkeepers in the world although he is only 23.
“I am overjoyed that he is behind us. We trust him 100 per cent and I get along with him very well.”
On Ter Stegen’s early-season mishaps, Rakitic said: “These were not errors from him, because you have to congratulate the scorer, who scored from 50 metres.
“You couldn’t do it a second time.
“He will not become the world’s best goalkeeper overnight but Marc is working hard.
“Marc has huge qualities, it is very important for us that he is always ready.”
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