Despite winning so many team and individual titles, Valdés says he is as motivated as ever to do his best for Barça, and claims the team is to be thanked for the many successes that they intend to repeat.
Against Sevilla on Sunday, Víctor Valdés equalled the legendary Antoni Ramallets’ tally of
288 league appearances for Barcelona. Now he only has to catch Andoni Zubizarreta, who played 301
Ramallets had already said in October’s edition of the Barça Magazine which brought
together the past and present of Barcelona goalkeeping at the Camp Nou. “Records are there to
be broken. I happy that it should be to a lad like Víctor”. Five months on, and against
Getafe, Valdés will be able to become the second most used Barça goalkeeper ever in the league,
with 289 outings.
The way things are going, Valdés won’t take long to get to 301 league games, the same
number as the current director of professional football, Andoni Zubizarreta, who kept goal for
Barça between 1986 and 1994. “For me, Zubi, Ramallets and Sadurní have set historic standards
in goal for Barça. They defended our shirt for many years and have all my respect”, said
After letting in just 13 goals in 25 league matches, Valdés is well on course for his fourth Zamora
Trophy, and third in a row. Having also won so many team titles, he is now consolidated as one of
the best goalkeepers in the game and an absolute guarantee between the FC Barcelona sticks.
In an interview given to Canal + Sweden, the BBC and Al Jazeera, Valdés spoke about his
motivation not just to be a good goalkeeper, but also in other facets of life. “I go to train
every day in search of new knowledge, and it’s all thanks to the manager we have. I have to
appreciate where I live, what I have, my family … It is a case of adding things up and
remembering the great times I have had celebrating titles with the fans, and working hard to win
even more. That is our motivation”.
Spanish league among the best in the world
Valdés does not agree that the Spanish league has become an annual two-horse race.
“I think the Spanish league is very competitive” he said. “I think the best
players are here. Every year the teams reinforce themselves well. Little by little football is
evolving but I think all of the teams play very intense football.”
Rivalry with Real Madrid
Mourinho being at Real Madrid, claims Valdés, has not meant there is any more
rivalry between them and FC Barcelona. The FCB stopper said that their rivalry “is purely
sporting … Mourinho is a coach who generates a lot of media opinion. That’s how he
works and we have to respect that. I think there will always be rivalry with Real Madrid whether
Mourinho is there or not … the local players at this club intensely experience every win we
get against the all-whites.”
Valdés accepts that “the time will come to look for new challenges …
Although I can’t imagine myself wearing any other shirt than Barça’s, I know what I am
like, and I know the day will come when I’ll want to go off in search of new challenges, to
get to know new cultures and new forms of football.”
Finally, the Barça goalkeeper spoke about his experiences representing the Spanish
national team. “I have to thank Vicente del Bosque, who gave me a late call-up for the World
Cup. I did all I could to help the team in every way. I think all players should do their little
bit for the World Cup cause. I was very pleased to get to go. Of course, any professional always
wants to get to play, but I consider myself part of the group and if I have to do other jobs, then
I’m delighted to do so”.