Goalkeeper Ter Stegen hauled off at half time for bizarre reason as Barcelona lose to Ronaldo's team | The Sun
GOALKEEPER Marc Andre ter Stegen was hauled off at half-time as Barcelona lost to Ronaldo Nazario’s side.
But Xavi Hernandez revealed there was a bizarre reason behind the decision as Barca suffered just their fifth defeat of the season.
The Catalans have already wrapped up the LaLiga title after a barnstorming domestic campaign.
Yet they managed to crash to a 3-1 defeat at lowly Valladolid – with legendary Brazil striker Ronaldo holding an 82 per cent stake in the club.
However, the biggest surprise came when Barca boss Xavi decided to take off Ter Stegen, 31, at half-time.
Valladolid were up 2-0 when the sub was made, with academy product Inaki Pena, 24, coming on for the second 45.
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But Xavi confirmed after the final whistle there was a reason why he made the call.
The current LaLiga record for least goals conceded is 18.
Deportivo did it in the 1993/94 campaign with Francisco Liao between the sticks for each game.
And Atletico Madrid repeated the feat in the 2015/16 season thanks to Jan Oblak’s heroics in all 38 matches.
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Before last night’s game, Barca had conceded just 15 goals with Ter Stegen in goal for the whole season.
The two goals shipped before the break took that number to 17.
And Xavi revealed he hooked the German to help him maintain that personal record figure, with Barcelona going on to concede a third goal with Pena on the pitch – ending their own hopes of setting a new record as a team.
Xavi said: “We changed Ter Stegen at half-time because we want him to be the goalkeeper with the fewest goals in history, and to win the Zamora (Golden Glove).
“Also Inaki deserved to come on. We did want to win today. We have two games left to recover our best form.”
Ter Stegen joined Barcelona from Gladbach in 2014 for £10million and has gone on to play 375 times.
He’s won five titles, five Spanish cups and a Champions League while also playing 32 times for Germany.
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