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Victor Valdés is back at FC Barcelona after signing a contract on Friday morning to become the new head coach of the U19A team. The agreement binds him to the club until June 2020, with the option to an extension by one additional season.
The contract was signed in the presence of the director responsible for professional youth football, Silvio Elías, and the managers of the professional youth football section, Jose Mari Bakero and Guillermo Amor.
The U19A team will be beginning their preseason preparations on July 29 and will appearing in the game to open the new Johan Cruyff Stadium on August 27 against the Ajax youth team.
A club legend
Considered, along with Antoni Ramallets, to be one of the greatest goalkeepers in FC Barcelona history, Victor Valdés made 539 competitive appearances for the team.
Valdés was always solid between the sticks, was a master at playing the ball with his feet and had an authoritative presence in his area. For several seasons, he was the absolute first choice stopper and huge fan favourite.
He had joined the first team setup after being promoted from Barça B in August 2002, although in his debut 2002/03 season he alternated duties with Argentinian goalie Roberto Bonano.
It was the following season that Valdés became the number one choice at FC Barcelona, and he would keep the role until 26 March 2014, when he suffered a serious injury at the Camp Nou and was out of action for several months, only very shortly after he had announced his decision to leave the club the following summer of 2014.
Valdés will especially be remembered for being the keeper when Barça beat Arsenal to win the Champions League in Paris in 2006, with some amazing saves ensuring a second European crown for the club. The goalkeeper in the treble-winning season and the year Barça won all six trophies was particularly admired for his skilful footwork, his confidence in 1-on-1 situations and his world class reflexes.
He played more games in goal for FC Barcelona than anybody else and also won the most titles for a goalkeeper. In 539 official fixtures, he only let in 442 goals, a remarkable statistic. He and another legendary Barça keeper, Ramallets, share the record for the most Zamora trophies, five (2004/05, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11 and 2011/12).
In 2011/12, he set a new club record by going 896 minutes without conceding a single goal in competitive matches.
At FC Barcelona, he collected a spectacular 21 different major titles: three Champions Leagues, six Ligas, two Copas del Rey, six Spanish Super Cups, two European Super Cups and two Club World Cups.
In May 2018, he earned his UEFA B and A coaching licences, and in the 2018/19 began his managerial career in charge of the U19A team at Moratalaz, who he guided to their category’s league title.
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