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05.09.2009 11:05

Keeper options change

Berta Brau

With the departure of Albert Jorquera, Valdes and Pinto are the two keepers who will be defending the Barca goal this season. Goalkeeping coach Juan Carlos Unzué, reckons: “there is nothing written in stone as to who is Guardiola’s first choice.

Three keepers in the first team squad was always a difficult situation and Unzue admitted that this was one of the most important reasons in finding a way out for Jorquera.

Three’s a crowd

QM3D4563.jpg“If we go back to before Pinto came, you can see that the normal thing was that we had two keepers in the seven years I’ve been here. What happened was Jorquera got injured and we felt the other keepers at the club were too young to ber thrown in ant the deep end. Last year though, it was clear that three keepers in the squad was very difficult – both for the players themselves and for the coaches. If being reserve keeper is tough, then being the third keeper is even tougher-If you are not included in the squad to travel to games for instance, it’s very easy to feel excluded from the group”.

Confidence in the youngsters

2009-09-02_ENTRENO_12.jpgJuan Carlos Unzué keeps a close eye on the youngsters coming through and believes that in the last 18 months: “our young keepers, - Oier, Rubén Miño or Jordi Masip – have gained enough experience for us to be confident about using them when we need to”.

“Nothing written in stone”

As to the roles of Valdes and Pinto, Unzue insisted: “I’ve always said there is nothing written in stone as to their respective positions this season. We want to maintain the motivation of all the players and reward the efforts we see in training every day. The players have to feel they are useful for the group because that helps them to produce their best”.


29-05-09_VALDES_COPAS_01.jpgThe Navarran was full of praise for Valdes though, claiming: he’s one of the best keeper sin the world”, whilst expressing his surprise at the lack of recognition he gets;”maybe the impression he gives fools some people at times, but I also know that for him the individual recognition and rewards are not a priority. What makes people remember you is what you are capable of achieving as part of a team”.


BARCELONA-TOTTENHAM_13.jpgUnzue also praised José Manuel Pinto, who came to Barcelona in January 2008 as the third ranked keeper and has now fought his way up to challenge Valdes. “Life can be fair at times and he’s got what he deserves for all the hard work his put in throughout his career. His life has changed enormously since he’s been here. Sometimes you have to know when to fight for what you think is right, but also to accept a decision and knuckle down. Pinto is always looking to bring the maximum to the group and at the same time to fight for as many minutes on the pitch as possible”.
Keeper options change

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Juan Carlos Unzué also took the time to publically thank Albert Jorquera for the work he put in at the club before his recent transfer to Girona: “I hope everything goes well for him at his new club and I’m sure it will now he’s got his chance. I just want to thank him for his efforts in the six years I’ve worked with him in the first team squad. He didn’t have an easy role to play, though it was a necessary one. We have to say that the success for Barca’s keepers is mainly down to Victor, but Albert has played a big part too with his support and hard work”.

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