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Víctor Valdés is now the keeper with the second most appearances in the Champions League, including qualification rounds. With the match against Milan under his belt, the Catalan takes his appearance record to 108 matches, which means he leapfrogged his hero Oliver Kahn who had 107 appearances in the competition. Iker Casillas tops the list with 133 appearances. To surpass Kahn is “a source of pride” for Valdés, who made the statement before the match against Milan on social media.
Security in goal
Valdés made his debut on August 14 of 2002 in the qualification phase of the competition against Legia and since then he’s averaged under a goal a game in the Champions League in each season he played, with the exemption of one (1.54 goals on average). He’s played a total of 108 matches and his average stands at 0.81 goals per match (88 total goals).
When Barça won its second Champions League title he only conceded 5 goals in 12 matches, which is an average of 0.41 goals conceded per match. Of these, two were scored in the group stage, two in the Round of 16 against Chelsea and one in the Paris against Arsenal. He was vital to Barça’s successful Champions League bid especially in the semifinals and quarterfinals, where he didn’t conceded any goals.
In the group stage, Valdés has been key in helping the team reach the Round of 16 as he’s made it a tradition to not concede many goals. From the 2009/10 to 2011/12 he only conceded seven goals in the group stage: 2 in 2009/10, 3 in 2010/11 and 2 in 2011/12, respectively.
Active player with the most titles
When it comes to titles, Valdés leads all active keepers with three Champions League crowns (2006, 2009 and 2011). He’s followed by Iker Casilals (2000 and 2002) and Dida, who now plays for Gremio Porto Alegre (2003 and 2007). In the overall ranking, Valdés shares the top spot with Juan Alonso (Madrid), Sepp Maier (Bayern), Heinz Stuy (Ajax) and Ray Clemence (Liverpool).
Century, against Milan
Milan have played an important part in Valdés’ impressive career seeing that it was against the Italian team that the keeper played his 100th career match in the competition, when Barça fired for four unanswered goals to qualify for the next round of the Champions League.
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