Ter Stegen praises De Gea as Barcelona takes aim at semifinal spot

Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen has lauded Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea as one of the world's best.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen in action for Barcelona   -  Getty Images

Marc-Andre ter Stegen is relishing the chance to play against David de Gea again as Barcelona prepares to host a "hungry" Manchester United side in the second leg of their Champions League quarterfinal.

LaLiga leader Barca holds the advantage heading into Tuesday's contest after beating Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side 1-0 at Old Trafford thanks to a Luke Shaw own goal.

READ | Quarterfinal curse looms as Barcelona hosts Manchester United

De Gea put in a typically impressive performance in that defeat, however, and Ter Stegen, who has kept four clean sheets in his last five Barca appearances, believes the Spaniard is among the world's best at the position.

"He's one of the best goalkeepers right now," Ter Stegen told a news conference.

"He's having a good season and he's been great for many years, which is important to be successful. I think he's one of most important players of Manchester United.

"It's always nice to play against [someone like him]. You compete at the highest level and that's what we all want. Tomorrow will be tough for him and for me.

"I think we have the same objectives, keeping a clean sheet first of all, but we're going to make it hard for them."

Ter Stegen has enjoyed another fine season at Barca, though the Germany international is more interested in team success than any individual accolades that may be on offer.

"I prefer to win titles. Personal awards are good, but I'd prefer to win LaLiga," he said.

"We're up against a team that is hungry, as we are. They have won away from home and we have the smallest possible advantage. We don't just want to defend it but show that we're better.

"Anything can happen in the Champions League, as we've seen in the last three seasons. We want to win, qualify and show that we're better than United. We want to win in our style."

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