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14.01.2008 11:40

Valdés celebrates birthday and defensive record

Berta Brau

Valdés has three good reasons to celebrate today. It’s his 26th birthday and he has finished the first half of the season with the lowest number of goals conceded in the Spanish first division, equalling a long-standing record set by Zubizarreta.

Victor Valdés, who is 26 on Monday, has a fantastic record as Barça keeper over the past few years.

Enviable figures

Victor Valdés is widely considered to be one of the best goalkeepers in European football, and his record so far this season fully backs that up. The defensive work of the team as a whole means that very little gets through to Valdés. And the young keeper is more than up to the task when the opposing attackers do break through. He has made 49 saves in 19 league matches, 12 in the Champions League and 6 in the 1 Kings Cup match he has played. He has conceded 13 goals in the league, 2 in Europe and 1 in the Kings Cup.

A record

fcb-at.madird-giovani.jpgLast Saturday’s match against Murcia marked the halfway point in the league season. So far Valdés has the best goalkeeping figures in the competition having conceded just 13 goals (5 at home and 8 away). This equals Andoni Zubizarreta’s record in the 1990-91, when the Basque legend also conceded 13 goals in the first 19 matches of the season.

A look back

Valdxs_entreno.JPGValdés made his senior debut in the 2002/2003 season against Atlético Madrid but had to compete with Bonano and Enke for the number 1 shirt. However, in the following season he limited Turkish international Rüstü to just 7 games (4 in the league and 3 in the UEFA Cup).

First choice keeper

FCB-R.Societat2.jpgIn Frank Rijkaard’s second season in charge, Valdés established himself as undisputed first choice and won the Zamora Trophy for the best goalkeeping record in the Spanish league (conceding 29 goals in the league and 9 in the Champions League). He also picked up a league winners medal.

Two leagues and the Champions League

fcb-milan-valdxs.jpgValdés further consolidated his hold on the number 1 shirt in the 2005/2006 season. He conceded just 35 goals in the league and 5 in the Champions league and made a vital contribution to Barça’s success in both competitions. Since then he has kept his place as undisputed first choice and, although the Club failed to win any silverware last season, Valdés continued to perform at a high standard, conceding 33 goals in the league and 6 in the Champions League.
Valdés celebrates birthday and defensive record

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