When Victor Valdes joined Manchester United in January 2015, it had seemed the Red Devils had stolen one of the world's best goalkeepers, having arrived on a free transfer.
The former Spain international was forced to settle in at Old Trafford while rehabilitating from a serious knee injury, but it had seemed that, once fit, he could play a big role under former boss Louis van Gaal, in the Dutchman's attempts to get Manchester United in the mix, competing for titles.
However, two appearances later, things had turned sour for the former Barca 'keeper, and was claimed by Van Gaal that he had refused to train with the club's Under-21s. Subsequently, his United career had seemingly ended before it had even really began.
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And things soon became so sour that Valdes has admitted he had considered quitting the game, after arguably the most testing stage of his career - having decided to allow his contract to expire at one of world's leading football clubs.
But such thoughts were soon quashed by, ironically, a member of Manchester United staff. During a demoralising period of training with the Red Devils' youth players, Valdes has revealed that United academy goalkeeper coach Alan Fettis revived his passion for the game.
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As reported by AS, during an interview with Sky Sports, Valdes said: "I want to say in a public way thank you to the U21 coach Alan Fettis.
"Without him I may have given up football. He made me keep going and stopped me when I was thinking about bringing my career to an end."
Valdes has now revived, what could have been a sad ending to a glorious playing career, by joining up with compatriot Aitor Karanka at Premier League newcomers Middlesbrough, on a two-year deal.
Starting Boro's first game on their return to the top flight, it seems their is still plenty left for the Spaniard just yet. And the the 34-year-old insists he is still on good terms with Van Gaal, despite not seeing eye-to-eye at United.
"I don't have any bad words for Van Gaal or Manchester United," said Valdes. "He's like a father figure to me. I don't want to remember the last six months in a bad way. For me he is in the top. We are still friends and there is no problem between us."
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