Victor Valdes must be trusted

Posted by Francesc Tomas

Victor Valdes committed an unacceptable mistake which enabled Angel Di Maria to score one of the most embarrassing goals that Barcelona has received in recent times. Lifting the Spanish Supercopa title will undeniably be much harder as a result of such blunder, and Cules have every right to criticize our goalkeeper for it.

Having said all of the above, I still believe that Victor Valdes is the best goalkeeper Barcelona can have at this moment in time. Sure, I am aware that it would be much easier for me to write "the signing of a new goalkeeper is a major priority" after such an obvious mistake but, honestly, this is a time where we need to stand by our players, not trash them.

Being a Barcelona goalkeeper has never been an easy job. Previous keepers such as Bonano, Hesp, Rustu, Vitor Baia or even Andoni Zubizarreta (who was gradually replaced by Carles Busquets due to his poor passing skills, then sold to Valencia on the cheap) are living examples.

Since the times of Johan Cruyff's Dream Team, most of Barcelona's focus is put into attacking and goalscoring. Defending the Barcelona goal has historically been tricky, as most of our rival's chances end up being one-on-ones or easy one-touch shots. A Barcelona goalkeeper must be not only agile and able to react quickly but also an aggressive sweeper who can pass the ball on the floor with confidence under pressure.

As a result, Victor Valdes is simply irreplaceable at Barcelona. In my opinion, there is simply no keeper in the world who could be more suitable to our current formation than him. Victor has the charisma of a leader, has absorbed the Blaugrana mentality from a very early age and has the reflexes and skills needed to perform at the highest standard in professional football.

Victor Valdes has won 5 consecutive Zamora trophies in a league that has Iker Casillas in it. Considering how much admiration and recognition the Real Madrid goalkeeper generates around the world, it would be silly to deny our Catalan's merit. After 10 years defending our Camp Nou goal and contributing to 19 collective titles, the qualities of 30-year-old Victor Valdes are unquestionable.

The experienced Catalan keeper is also Barcelona's vice-captain, together with Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta. I believe that changing one of the core members of our team at a time when the Blaugranas are undergoing a potentially difficult managerial transition would not be a great idea.

President Rosell chose Tito Vilanova as Pep Guardiola's successor because he believed only minor changes to our successful formation and squad were needed - that definitely included trusting Victor Valdes and the other core players who took us where we are today.

You only need to listen to how our manager and key Barcelona players reacted after the Supercopa match against Real Madrid to understand the feeling within the dressing room:

Tito Vilanova: "I have not spoken with Valdes, as there is nothing to talk about. He should keep doing what he is doing. For years he has helped us a lot to bring the ball out from deep. If he started hitting the ball long, we would lose our combination game. One day one player can make a mistake, the next day another player. I am focusing on the positive. He played well, and helped us a lot on high balls."

Xavi Hernadez: "Víctor Valdes has seen everything here and I am convinced that he is the best goalkeeper in the world for Barcelona. We have every confidence in him. We know he takes risks because he’s a brave keeper. We’ll be encouraging him, but he’s strong and fully prepared for things like this”.

Javier Mascherano: "It was a passage of play that only the Barcelona keeper can do and this style is why this team is so recognisable. We prefer to make the odd error so we can continue to be ourselves."

Many other Barcelona players went on record to support him, but I'm sure you guys get the idea: Victor Valdes is our goalkeeper and everyone at the club is determined to stick by him, regardless of how many mistakes he makes. And rightly so.

I am proud to say that Barcelona is expected to lift La Liga, the Champions League and every other trophy year after year. Having a reliable goalkeeper is the basis for any team with high expectations: which is exactly why Tito Vilanova is right to trust Victor Valdes.

Everyone makes mistakes.

Time to move on.

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Forca Barca!!

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