Speculated since he started training with Manchester United in October, Victor Valdes finally signed for the Reds on an 18-month deal on Thursday.
Valdes joins United having spent his entire career in Spain with FC Barcelona and after proving his fitness to manager Louis van Gaal, he becomes the second world-class goalkeeper in the Old Trafford ranks. Let’s have a look at the latest Spanish recruit.
Career appearances: 632
Height: 1.83m (6ft)
As mentioned earlier, Valdes has spent his club career at boyhood club Barcelona. He came through the ranks at Camp Nou, playing for the Barcelona B and C teams before breaking into the senior set-up in 2002. Whilst racking up 535 professional appearances for them, Valdes broke into a heavily talented Spain squad but has played second fiddle to fellow great Iker Casillas, notching up only 20 caps for the former World champions.
Ten facts about Victor Valdes
- Valdes currently holds the record for goalkeeper appearances for Barcelona, breaking Andoni Zubizarreta’s record of 410 in 2011/12
- As well as 20 games for Spain, Victor has 12 caps for Catalonia
- Despite being a one-club man his whole senior career and being a La Masia graduate, Valdes spent three years of his youth development at Tenerife between 1992-95
- Valdes has won three Champions Leagues, two of which came at the expense of United in the 2009 and 2011 finals.
- Van Gaal has worked with Valdes before having given him his debut whilst the pair combined at the Catalan club.
- Valdes has six La Liga titles to his name
- In 2010-11 Valdes was crowned the “La Liga Goalkeeper of the season”
- Overall, the Spanish stopper has been a world champion three times, once with Spain in 2010 and twice with his club having lifted the Club World Cup in 2009 and 2011.
- Despite being in the squad for years, Valdes only made his Spain debut in 2010, exactly ten years to the day since Casillas’ international opener.
- The prestigious Zamora Trophy, awarded to the best goalkeeper in Spain, has been given to United’s new man five times between 2004 and 2012
- Copa del Rey: 2008–09, 2011–12 (Runner-up 2010–11, 2013–14)
- Supercopa de España: 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 (Runner-up 2012)
- UEFA Super Cup: 2009, 2011 (Runner-up 2006)
- UEFA European Football Championship: 2012
- ESM Team of the Year: 2010–11
- Prince of Asturias Awards: 2010
- Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sporting Merit: 2011