Former Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn has revealed that he would start Barcelona‘s Marc-Andre ter Stegen ahead of Manuel Neuer in Die Mannschaft’s opening World Cup game against Mexico on Sunday.
Joachim Löw has been handed a selection headache following Neuer’s return to fitness. The Bayern Munich goalkeeper hasn’t played a competitive game since September, when he suffered a metatarsal fracture, but was included in Germany’s 23-man World Cup squad, and featured heavily in recent friendlies to Austria and Saudi Arabia.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen, on the other hand, was an ever-present figure for La Liga champions Barcelona last season, starting 37 of their 38 league games. He was also Germany’s starting goalkeeper in Neuer’s absence.
Germany’s team manager Oliver Bierhoff revealed in late May, however, that Neuer would be the world champions’ number one in Russia.
He said, as quoted by the BBC: “Manuel will go to the World Cup as our number one, If he makes the squad then Marc-Andre [ter Stegen] will be number two. Manuel is already full on track. He does not need to get back on it.”
Legendary keeper Oliver Kahn, who made 86 appearances for Germany between 1995 and 2006, has revealed that he would instead opt to start Ter Stegen, however.
He told Gazzeta dello Sport, via elPeriodico: “If I were the coach of Germany, I would definitely start ter Stegen. He is at the peak of his career. For now, he is the best in the world.”
“I can understand his mood. I understand ter Stegen’s disappointment. We talked in a training session: we had a normal dialogue. He has a good season with Barcelona and we all want to play. But that is the situation. He is still very valuable to the team in his daily work.”