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Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 'Tough' watching Germany WC from bench

Sid Lowe unpacks the 'unknown package' that is Barcelona ahead of the 2018-19 campaign and provides the latest on Ousmane Dembele's murky situation with the club.

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Marc-Andre ter Stegen is ready to take on more responsibility at Barcelona after the disappointment of sitting out Germany's disastrous World Cup campaign.

Ter Stegen, who is going into his fifth season at Camp Nou, didn't play a single minute in Russia as Germany exited the competition at the group stage.

Despite starring for Barcelona last season, Germany coach Joachim Low preferred Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who had just returned from a long-term injury.

"If you have the season that I had, you go to the World Cup full of excitement and ambition, wanting to play," Ter Stegen said.

"But you have to respect the coach's decision. It was tough [not playing], I can't lie. But I was there to support the team and I gave 100 percent."

Ter Stegen, who is still only 26, has quickly become one of the more senior players in the Barcelona dressing room following the departures of Andres Iniesta, Javier Mascherano and Neymar in recent years.

Iniesta's move to China saw Barca lose their club captain and the players will vote on their four new captains for the new campaign before the season starts, with Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets expected to fill two of the roles.

"The team will vote on it, but I am very proud that people talk about me as a potential captain here," Ter Stegen said to the suggestion he could get the nod from his teammates.

"It would be an honour to be one of the four captains, of course. But it's not the most important thing. We need more than just four captains.

"I'm hoping we're going to do big things this season. We're hungry for success. We will try to fight for everything, beyond just the Champions League."

Ter Stegen's form has come at the detriment of Jasper Cillessen, who has been unable to break into the first team since signing from Ajax for €13 million two summers ago.

The Dutch stopper has been restricted to Copa del Rey games and he acknowledged earlier this summer that he would be open to leaving the club if the right opportunity came up.

"Cillessen's future depends on him," Ter Stegen added. "I think it's a personal thing. I understand he wants to play more, but I always want to be the No.1 and play everything.

"Everyone knows that. He knows it and the club knows it. Jasper's future depends on him. It's not up to me if he stays or not.

"What I can say is that things are fine between us and we have a good relationship. If he's playing, I support him and he does the same with me when I play. There are never bad words between us -- not from him or from me."


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