Will Barcelona miss Victor Valdes?
Victor Valdes recently announced his intention to leave the Nou Camp when his contract expires next summer - will Barcelona miss him?
It was a surprise when news broke that Victor Valdes was not going to renew his contract and will be leaving Barcelona within the next year.
In January, Valdes revealed he wanted to retire at Barca, but now seems to have had a change of heart.
In the first home game after his revelation, the Catalan side fans showed their admiration for their first-choice goalkeeper despite fears of a backlash. They wanted, and still want, him to stay, but Valdes' mind is made up.
So, will Barcelona regret his departure?
The 31-year-old is approaching his twilight of his career and is keen to experience another league. The La Masia graduate has been exceptional for Barcelona since breaking into the first-team in the 2002/03 season.
He is more than a goalkeeper at Barcelona. He makes himself available to start off the attack from the deepest of positions. He is by no means the best goalkeeper in the world but he is definitely the best goalkeeper for Barcelona as Tito Vilanova has reiterated on numerous occasions.
Valdes’ career at Barcelona has not been without the occasional howler. For example, he gifted Angel di Maria a goal that helped Real Madrid lift the Spanish Super Cup earlier this season.
Some fans were calling for his head but Vilanova stuck by his goalkeeper, just like Pep Guardiola did before him.
Barcelona are known for their possession-based football. They dominate most games for the whole 90 minutes, so some might say those in front of him shield Valdes. When Valdes has been called into action, though, he has made exceptional saves.
In short, Valdes is a world-class goalkeeper. Yes, he has the occasional howler but Iker Casillas, Manuel Neuer and even Gianluigi Buffon all have the tendencies to make mistake. It is part of the game.
Valdes will forever remain a legend at Barcelona, regardless of what he does from now until he retires.
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