Victor Valdes has finally called time on his Barcelona career, after nearly 20 years with the Spanish giants.
Valdes has won everything there is to win in football, with 23 trophies for club and country. This includes six La Liga titles, three Champions League winners’ medals, and both the World Cup & European Championships with Spain.
The keeper has made 535 appearances for the side he joined as a 10-year-old, but feels the time is right to move on as he says farewell through an emotional open letter:
"There comes a time to say goodbye, say goodbye to all of you. Unfortunately, I couldn’t say goodbye playing football as I would have liked, but that’s life and this year has been cruel to me in that regard.
"I’ve had time to review where I come from and what I’ve become. The only thing that appears in my nostalgic thoughts are the people who have helped me get here. It is to them that I dedicate this letter!"
Valdes also goes on to thank the various coaches and managers he has worked under during his Barcelona career, including the late Tito Vilanova:
"Thanks to Louis Van Gaal, for showing the courage to bet on talent that his eyes alone could see. He began building a historic club, of which I had the privilege to be part of. Heartfelt thanks.
"Thanks to Frank Rijkaard, for giving me the confidence and allowing me the glory, playing the European Cup in Paris with my own hands. Wherever you are, I repeat, my life will always be indebted to you, Sir.
"Thanks Pep, for having opened the door to play a game that we did not know, for being my guide in the way that one should keep looking for success, and we found it together, right?
"Thanks Tito! Wherever you are, I thank you for teaching us the way and not only to keep winning as a team, but also the strength and character needed to face life.
"Thanks to all those colleagues with whom I have had the pleasure of sharing the work involved in carrying this crest on my chest every day, for making me feel important within this group we have formed over the years. Because when it comes down to it, we are, here and now. Thank you Gentlemen!
"And of course, I do not want to forget the most important for me, for the past twelve years as a professional person wearing this shirt, my loyal followers.
"Those that whatever happened, you were always there to give me encouragement that a fighter needs at all times, you were there proud of me in every celebration, you supported me in every game, sending that positive energy that I never ceased to acknowledge, that I carried with me all this time, because without that, I would not have been able to do it alone."
"Thank you, thank you and thank you a thousand times. And I ask you please do not fail to support me."
Valdes is currently in Germany receiving treatment on the Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury which had ruled him out until October.
The stopper's next club is unknown, however Monaco has been singled out as a likely destination.
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