Marc-Andre ter Stegen admits his Barcelona future was in big doubt in 2016 upon struggles for regular opportunities.
The German goalkeeper arrived at Camp Nou from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2014, but found himself immediately behind Claudio Bravo in the Barcelona pecking order.
In his opening two campaigns in Catalonia, Ter Stegen made just seven La Liga appearances with the majority of his game-time coming in cup competitions both in Europe and Spain.
Therefore, Ter Stegen was forced to consider his long-term options in light of his irregular chances as manager Luis Enrique’s rotation policy was clearly no longer working.
But it was Bravo instead who left Camp Nou in 2016 to reunite with former coach Pep Guardiola in the Premier League for Manchester City.
“Basically, Claudio [Bravo] and I both managed to deal well with the situation [of competing for the No.1 shirt],” Ter Stegen told Goal and DAZN.
“He is a great goalkeeper who earned the place back then. The coach did not have to change because he had a goalkeeper in the league who showed good performances.
“Of course, you start to ponder [your future] because playing football is the most important thing.
“It would not have been better if the coach had said: ‘You’re playing in the league now and [Bravo] in the other competitions.’ That was not what I wanted and in 2016 came the situation where I had to think about leaving Barca.
“The club was up to date all the time. Claudio and I dealt with the situation openly and said we did not like it. At some point, there is the moment when it is no longer tenable. Then Barcelona clearly made a decision and decided for me. I think I have paid it back so far.”
Ter Stegen has now made a total of 175 appearances across all competitions for Barcelona and has kept 74 clean sheets in the process.
The 26-year-old also recently voiced his confidence that Germany team-mate Marco Reus would make a great player for Barcelona.