Why isn’t Marc-André ter Stegen playing for Barcelona?
The German goalkeeper was unexpectedly ruled out of Barça’s Champions League game against Porto due to injury.
Barcelona are without regular goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen for Tuesday’s Champions League fixture against Porto.
The 31-year-old missed out on last weekend’s draw with Rayo Vallecano after picking up an injury while in training with the German national team.
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Last Friday Barça released a statement confirming that Ter Stegen had sustained a “lower back injury” while away on international duty. The Spanish club had hoped that he would return in time for the midweek fixture but he was not fit enough to be included in the team’s Champions League matchday squad.
Ter Stegen was one of Barcelona’s most important players in 2022/23 as the club lifted the LaLiga title. The goalkeeper was named the LaLiga Player of the Season and picked up the Zamora Trophy for best goalkeeper.
Who is Iñaki Peña?
With Ter Stegen absent for last weekend’s LaLiga fixture, Barcelona academy graduate Iñaki Peña was given a start in goal. The 24-year-old joined the club’s famed La Masia development centre in 2012 and joined Barcelona B six years later.
He was called up to the senior squad in 2018 but did not play and continued playing with the B team until 2022. Last year he made a brief loan spell to Turkish giants Galatasaray, bizarrely coming up against parent cub Barcelona in the Europa League.
Since last season he has established himself as the back-up to Ter Stegen, but has made very few appearances. Iñaki Peña featured just five times in all competitions in 2022/23 and last weekend’s game against Rayo was his first appearance of this campaign.
Now aged 24, Iñaki Peña has precious little top level experience but looks set to keep his place for Tuesday’s crucial Champions League clash against Porto.