Marc-Andre ter Stegen went down in the LaLiga record books on Saturday night after completing an all-time record 46 passes during Barcelona’s 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao. The German keeper, who is known for his ability to play with the ball at his feet, played himself into danger at various moments in the game but finished the 90 minutes with a clean sheet.
He successfully completed 46 of his 54 passing attempts, an 85% success rate, and in the process beat a LaLiga record that had stood since the 2005/06 season.
Following the final whistle, ter Stegen said he was happy with the win but avoided any controversy. “It’s always difficult to play the ball out short from the back but it went well tonight,” he said. “We’re happy to have won here. It was my first game back after injury and I feel that I’ll become more confident with my knee and in my ability over the next few weeks.”
When asked about his former teammate Claudio Bravo, who completed a move to Manchester City earlier in the week, he said: “We competed well, as we all should. We’re playing well and the team is what’s important.”
Jordi Alba: “ter Stegen is one of the best goalkeepers in the world.”
Barcelona’s left-back, who now faces increased completion for his place in the starting line-up since the signing of Lucas Digne, praised ter Stegen’s performance: “ter Stegen is one of the best goalkeepers in the world and we love the way he plays.”
Alba also reiterated his teammate’s delight with the win: “We’re happy with how things are going. We deserved more goals but you can’t thrash every team you play. We knew they’d put a lot a pressure on us and we played well.”
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