Manchester United have made their first signing of the January transfer window, after the club officially announced the arrival of former Barcelona goal keeper Victor Valdes. The 32-year-old has signed a 18-month contract with an option of one further year.
The Spanish goal keeper has been training with Manchester United for the past few months that allowed him to work on getting back into match fitness. This will be the first time he will play for a club other than Barcelona.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 8, 2015
Valdes made more than 530 appearances for Barcelona over 12 seasons and his rock solid presence was one of the key reasons why the Blaugrana had lots of success. He has won six La Liga titles, three Champions League titles and others during his stay.
Valdes a good signing for Man Utd, but find it odd a keeper who’d walk into most clubs’ first teams has gone to one of the few he doesn’t.
— Rory Smith (@RorySmithTimes) January 8, 2015
Valdes ruptured his ACL muscle in late March while playing for Barcelona, that eventually prevented him from joining Monaco.
He couldn’t finish his Barcelona career on a high note following the injury and left a passionate heart-felt letter posted on the club’s official site.
“The time has come for me to say goodbye to you all .
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to say goodbye playing football, as I would have liked, but that’s life at times, and this year has been a bit cruel to me in this regard.
“I’ve had time to look at where I am and what I’ve become. I can only think about the people who helped me to get where I am today. I dedicate this letter to them.
“Oriol Tort, José Antonio Pozanco, Juan Manuel Asensi, Ursicinio López, Albert Benaiges, Antonio Olmo, Juan Carlos Pérez Rojo, Pep Segura, Quique Costas, Joan Vilà, Jordi Castel….. the coaches who made me into the athlete I always dreamed I would be. People who turned a ten year old kid into a goalkeeper at the Camp Nou, ten years later. Thank you all!.
“Thank you to Louis Van Gaal, for showing the courage necessary to gamble on a talent that only he could see. He began building this historic Barça side, which I have been privileged to be part of. My heartfelt thanks
“Thank you Frank Rijkaard, for giving me the confidence necessary, and allowing me to achieve glory, getting my hands on the European Cup in Paris. Wherever you are, I will be indebted to you for the rest of my life Mister.
“Thank you Pep, for having opened the door to playing a game that was unknown to me, for guiding me along the road where one has to keep looking for success, and we did it together, right?. We’ll always have that Mister, and believe me, it will be eternal!.
“Thank you Tito! Wherever you are, I thank you for having taught us not only the way to keep winning as a team, but also the strength and character needed to face life.”
Valdes will serve as second choice keeper to David de Gea, but never-the-less he will provide strong competition for the goal keeping spot.
He can now focus completely on getting back to full fitness, and the club should not need to rush him back to action.
On this occasion, let us take a look at some of his best saves (top 15 saves) for Barcelona, courtesy Youtube compilation.