Bizarre reason why Barcelona boss Xavi hauled off keeper Ter Stegen

REVEALED: The bizarre reason why Barcelona boss Xavi hauled off goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen as LaLiga champions LOSE to 17th-placed Real Valladolid

  • Barcelona have had a sterling LaLiga campaign under club legend Xavi
  • The head coach made the perplexing decision at half-time after going 2-0 down
  • Ronaldo Nazario’s side have climbed out of the relegation places after their win

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen was mysteriously hauled off at half-time after conceding two goals against Real Valladolid on Tuesday evening. 

The Germany shotstopper has had a sensational season in LaLiga under head coach Xavi and his contributions between the sticks has played a large role in Barca clinching the title for the first time since the departure of Lionel Messi. 

But his performance against the 17th-placed club – who is owned by Real Madrid icon Ronaldo Nazario – seemed to cause concern for his manager, who quickly subbed on La Masia product Inaki Pena. 

Barcelona have already climbed the league title after a whirlwind campaign that saw them streak ahead of their rivals. 

The Blaugrana were confirmed champions after beating their Catalonia rivals Espanyol 4-2 in the Catalan derby in mid-May. 

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen was hauled off at half-time after conceding two goals by boss Xavi

The shotstopper has had a sensational season for the Blaugrana but ran into difficulty away

But defeat on the road against Valladolid during which the home side slotted three past Ter Stegen and Pena would have come as a shock, the win granting the relegation-threatened side a vital lifeline out of the bottom three. 

Xavi shared his reasoning for swapping the 31-year-old – who has been at the club since 2014 – for the comparatively untested Pena when the chips were down after the final whistle. 

‘We changed Ter Stegen at half-time because we want him to be the goalkeeper with the fewest goals in history,’ Xavi stated plainly. 

The current record for fewest goals conceded in the history of LaLiga is 18 – a figure first achieved by Francisco Liao for Deportivo La Coruna during their 1993/94 campaign, which saw them finish as runners-up to eventual winners Barcelona. 

The number was matched by Jan Oblak in the 2015/16 season when Atletico Madrid came third in the championship. 

Ter Stegen’s blistering form has seen him concede just 15 goals throughout Barcelona’s campaign, before the Germany international brought his tally up to 17 thanks to first-half goals from Cyle Larin, and an own-goal from team-mate Andreas Christensen. 

Xavi is adamant that his player deserves to win the Zamora, Spain’s Golden Glove award named for Espanyol goalkeeper Ricardo Zamora. 

The champions hoisted the trophy aloft after their home game against Real Sociedad

Ter Stegen has yet to win the honour, which was awarded last year to Sevilla goalkeeper Bono.

‘Also, Inaki deserves to come on. We did want to win today. We have two games left to recover out best form.’

Ter Stegen, who joined the storied club from Borussia Monchengladbach, will likely be back in goal for the champions during the last two matches of their campaign. 

Barcelona will face Mallorca and Celta Vigo before the season comes to a close. 

Source: Read Full Article