Munich - Borussia Mönchengladbach's attacking quartet of , , Juan Arango and Patrick Herrmann have quite rightly won a host of plaudits this season, but 's performances in goal for the Foals have played just as big a role in their rise up the Bundesliga table. presents ten things you may not have known about the young stopper, whose impressive displays have earned him a reputation as one of Europe's finest young goalkeepers.

Any Bundesliga fans familiar with the German language may have noticed that the young keeper's surname does not have a typically German ring to it. The shot-stopper confirmed as much in 2009 when he was a still playing for Germany's Under-17s. "It's true [that it sounds a little odd]. The name is of Dutch origin," he said. There was never any danger of ter Stegen switching allegiances to the Netherlands, however. "I've only got a German passport," he said.

After making seven appearances for the U-16s, ter Stegen helped Germany win the UEFA U-17 European Championship on home soil in 2009, courtesy of a 2-1 victory over the Netherlands in the final. His performances during the tournament earned him the bronze Fritz Walter medal - a series of annual awards given to homegrown youth footballers by the German Football Association. Two years later, ter Stegen won the gold medal in the U-19 category.

Ter Stegen made his maiden Gladbach appearance against 1. FC Köln in April 2011. The Foals romped to a resounding 5-1 victory over their local rivals at Borussia Park, thereby easing their Bundesliga relegation fears. In his next outing, the then 18-year-old ter Stegen produced a man-of-the-match performance against Borussia Dortmund in an impressive 1-0 win for the Foals, who ultimately secured their top-flight status courtesy of a 2-1 aggregate win over VfL Bochum in the Bundesliga play-offs.

The fresh-faced keeper's commanding displays - and occasionally fiery temperament - between the sticks inevitably led to comparisons with some of Germany's goalkeeping heroes, including FC Bayern München legend Oliver Kahn. Not that ter Stegen pays much attention to all the hype, however. "I'm my own man and I want it to remain that way," he explained. "I just want to keep performing well and what other people say hasn't really got anything to do with me."

Some footballers insist on putting on their left boot before their right, others wear lucky sweatbands. Ter Stegen, meanwhile, is reluctant to let anyone else wear his goalkeeping gloves. During an interview broadcast on ZDF in 2011, the journalist asked him whether he could try on ter Stegen's gloves. "You could," he replied, "but then I wouldn't be able to wear them anymore. If things are working well for you, you want to keep them the way they are. It's the same for my gloves!"

Despite his success with Germany's youth teams, ter Stegen's career with the full national team has been a little more problematic. He made his debut for die Nationalmannschaft in a 5-3 friendly defeat to Switzerland in May 2012, and that initial setback was followed by defeats to Argentina (3-1) and USA (4-3). However, ter Stegen now believes he is over the disappoinment: "I feel I have become more consistent in recent years and have learned from my experiences with the national team."

It wasn't all doom and gloom for ter Stegen in goal for Germany, however. FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi missed two penalties in 2012 - one against Chelsea FC in the UEFA Champions League, and one in that friendly against Germany in August 2012. After replacing Ron-Robert Zieler, who had been sent off moments earlier for a foul inside the box, ter Stegen kept out the four-time Ballon d'Or winner's spot-kick. However, he was unable to prevent Messi and Co. from cruising to a comfortable 3-1 win.

On 23 December 2012, ter Stegen's puppy Bali went missing after a near miss with a car. After sending out an appeal on his official Facebook page, hundreds of fans took to the streets of Mönchengladbach to help find the canine and, thankfully, Bali was found - unharmed - and returned to Marc-Andre and his girlfriend later that afternoon. "I'm astounded by the number of helpers. For us, it's the perfect Christmas miracle," ter Stegen said afterwards.

Ter Stegen was once asked whether he'd rather be kept busy during a match, or if he'd prefer to have little do to. He delivered a straightforward answer: "As long as we win, I couldn't care less," he said. "There have been matches in which we've been completely dominant, but ended up without the points." Thankfully, that hasn't been the case too often this season.

Ter Stegen's decision not to extend his contract when his current deal with Mönchengladbach expires in 2015 will have alerted a number of teams. Although his next destination is still very much up in the air, ter Stegen is no different to most other professionals: "I'd be lying if I said I didn't have ambitions," he said in 2011. "It's important for me that I try and achieve my goals the way I want to - I think everyone knows that's the type of character I am." Time will tell where ter Stegen will be plying his trade in the coming years.