Love Him or Hate Him, Victor Valdes Is Not Leaving Barcelona

Tre' Atkinson@@TreAtkinsonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 15, 2013

Love Him or Hate Him, Victor Valdes Is Not Leaving Barcelona

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    Victor Valdes has been the first-choice shot-stopper for Barcelona for over a decade now. Yet the media has begun to bring into question the 31-year-old’s future at the Catalan club (via Goal).

    Sadly, as it always tends to be with the media, Valdes is receiving too much negative press regarding his situation at the club. In fact, the chances of the keeper leaving the club anytime soon are borderline silly.

    Cules should expect Valdes to remain at the Catalan club for many more years whether you are a fan of Valdes, as am I, or see his mistakes as too costly.

    In this article, we will first visit the rumors leading to the belief that Valdes could leave. Then we will take a look at the truthful facts regarding the keeper’s future. But most importantly, we will see why he should stay.

    Shall we begin?

The Reports...Blown out of Proportion

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    The rumors began to circulate when Valdes made known that he had yet to begin discussions on a new contract. Sky Sports reported that he was interested in other cultures and was not sure what the future held.

    Of course, the media saw this as an opportunity. Whenever a player does not outright state that they will remain with a club, their future is immediately questioned.

    But the rumor mill was fed even more when Marca reported that Valdes’ agent, Gines Carvajal, stated that negotiations had not begun despite Barcelona the words of Barcelona director Andoni Zubizarreta.

    In fact, Valdes even stated that he would talk about his future with Barcelona when the time is right.

    The pure speculation that Valdes could want a move away from the club has prompted clubs such as Liverpool to ponder a move for the Catalan keeper (per The Mirror).

    With enough ammunition, the media has plenty to use when questioning the future of the Barcelona keeper.

The Truth...Sadly Has Not Been the Focus

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    With regards to the rumors of his desire to move away from the club to experience other cultures, the media has left out one glaring statement.

    In the same interview ,reported by Chris Kvesa of Goal, that led people to believe that Valdes wanted to leave the club, he actually stated “My dream is to retire here…time will tell.”

    This does not seem like a statement from someone wanting to leave his current club. In fact, there is no reason to read more into the words of Valdes than are already there.

    He wants to retire at Barcelona, but is aware that no one knows what the future holds.

    To stomp out the rumors further, Andoni Zubizarreta addressed the issue as reported by Goal. The Barcelona director clearly made known that Valdes has made no mention of wanting to leave the club.

    Zubizarreta was also outspoken on the love that Barcelona has for Victor Valdes. It appears as though both parties involved want the keeper to remain at Barcelona.

Why Victor Valdes Should, and Will, Stay at Barcelona

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    With both sides of the story now known, why should Barcelona keep the shot-stopper? Despite making a few glaring mistakes in his career, Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova still sees him as the best keeper in the world.

    Of course the Blaugrana boss will regard his keeper as the world’s best, that much comes with the territory. But the keeper is, in fact, one of the world’s best keepers.

    In the position of a keeper, every mistake is seen. It is a sad truth that keepers will always receive much more negativity for mistakes than is necessary. 

    Despite mistakes that Valdes has made, he has always made up for them. Just this season the keeper has made countless saves that kept Barcelona in games. And there really is no need to even bring up the amazing amount of trophies he has won while at Barcelona.

    In fact, in terms of pure shot-stopping ability, Valdes is arguably the best there is. Though the likes of Casillas and Buffon are clearly better players overall, it is difficult to find a keeper who saves as many difficult shots as Valdes.

    Do not get me wrong, I am not claiming that he is the best in the world. But I am trying to show that his overall ability cannot be denied. Though Valdes, statistically, is not the best in the world, the stats do not show the whole story.

    Most of the goals scored against Valdes are one-on-one attempts, which should always be scored by the striker. Valdes also lets in a few free-kicks, but the majority of goals from set pieces are nearly impossible to stop.

    The case for Valdes is a simple one. He is an amazing keeper who has received more negativity than he deserves. As one of the world’s best, who could realistically be brought in as an upgrade?

    Victor Valdes is Barcelona-bred, he knows the system and he is a proven winner. Fans, do not listen to the constantly insane rumor mills, Valdes is staying at Barcelona.

    Are the rumors to be believed? Should Barcelona do everything possible to keep Valdes? Don’t forget to leave your thoughts and comments below.

    Don’t forget fans, I have a La Masia Spotlight at the end of every week. The spotlight covers one player either recently promoted or still not in the first-team, age does not matter. So if you have a player you want to see covered, let me know. Each week’s player is picked by you the readers.

    Tre’ Atkinson, The Catalan Blood of Bleacher Report. 

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