Victor Valdes says he is still friends with Louis van Gaal

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When Victor Valdes does decide to hang up his boots, his brief stint at Manchester United is not one he will look back on too fondly.

Valdes arrived at Old Trafford with plenty of optimism after the club were prepared to give him the opportunity to continue his rehabilitation from a serious knee injury with them in 2014.

Unfortunately, his United career could not have panned out much worse and he has now revealed how his nightmare spell in Manchester almost drove him to retirement.

The 34-year-old joined Middlesbrough in the summer and he has provided an insight on what really happened between him and the manager at the time, Louis van Gaal.

Valdes was frozen out of the Red Devils' set up after reportedly refusing to play for the Under-21's side and was instantly placed on the transfer list.

A very public fallout ensued and involved various snide comments from both sides before the Spaniard was eventually released at the start of the summer.

But Valdes has insisted he doesn't hold a grudge with either the club or Van Gaal despite admitting it was the 'biggest fight' of his career.

"It's difficult to explain, but it was hard being alone. Sometimes at United I thought 'I don't need this', but I am a fighter and a professional," Valdes said in an interview with Sky Sports.


"This was the biggest fight of my career and I won it.

"The easy way out was to end my career but now I feel like a professional goalkeeper again.

"I don't have any bad words for Van Gaal or Manchester United. They helped me through my injury and the manager gave me my chance as a footballer at Barcelona and then again at United.

"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."

The Dutch manager has since been removed from his post and replaced by Jose Mourinho while Valdes has begun a new adventure with ex-Real Madrid hero Aitor Karanka.


And Valdes added he was surprised Karanka offered him a deal at Boro given his own status at former club Barcelona.

He added: "Playing with a newly promoted club means I have a different objective in my career but I still always want to go out there and win games. I am grateful to Karanka for the chance.

"He had been texting me for a while. He sent me a message after my knee injury and we have kept in touch since.

"It was a surprise because he is a Real Madrid legend - there is obviously a fierce rivalry there."

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