Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has once again voiced his frustration with his role for the German national team, where he's the back-up to Bayern Munich star Manuel Neuer.
The stopper didn't see the pitch recently in a loss to the Netherlands and win against Northern Ireland during Euro 2020 Group C qualifying matches, and he doesn't understand why, per Marca's Alejandro Segura: "It is not easy to find an explanation [for not starting] as I am giving the best account of myself in each game to make the decision more difficult. I am trying [to become the first-choice goalkeeper] anyway, but this trip with the national team has been a tough blow for me."
He expressed his frustrations earlier in the international break as well:
Even though he's widely considered among the best goalkeepers in the world, Ter Stegen remains stuck behind Neuer in the pecking order. He has 22 caps since debuting with Germany in 2012.
The Bayern man has seemingly declined in recent years, costing his teams, per StatsBomb:
Neuer was considered by many as the very best at the position until injuries limited him to just three Bundesliga matches in the 2017-18 season. He hasn't been the same since his return.
Germany manager Joachim Low has maintained his faith in the 33-year-old, however. Neuer was one of the key men during the 2014 FIFA World Cup triumph, and Low has stuck by him ever since.
He did so again after the veteran conceded four goals in a 4-2 loss against the Netherlands during his 89th cap on Friday, prompting this response from sports writer Ronan Murphy (the German phrase translates to "when does hell freeze over?"):
Ter Stegen was Neuer's back-up at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2016. He got his chance for Die Mannschaft at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, which the Germans won and when he was voted Man of the Match after the 1-0 win over Chile in the final.
At the age of 27, Ter Stegen has time on his side, but it's easy to see why he's frustrated with so little playing time when he's in his prime and performing well.
Neuer rebounded from his tough outing against the Netherlands by leading the Germans to a 2-0 win over Northern Ireland on Monday, making several key saves and distributing the ball well.